Arterial oxygenation and one-lung anesthesia
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In the presence of the obligatory shunt during one-lung ventilation, arterial oxygenation is determined by the magnitude of the shunt in addition to the oxygen content of the mixed venous blood coursing through that shunt. The present discussion aims to heighten awareness of factors determining arterial oxygenation during one-lung anesthesia, other than the magnitude of the shunt and dependent lung low-ventilation perfusion units. RECENT FINDINGS: A convenient way to increase mixed venous and thereby arterial oxygenation is to raise cardiac output. While this approach has achieved some success when increasing cardiac output from low levels, other studies have highlighted limitations of this approach when cardiac output attains very high levels. The effect of anesthesia techniques on the relationship between oxygen consumption and cardiac output could also explain unanswered questions regarding the pathophysiology of arterial oxygenation during one-lung anesthesia. SUMMARY: The effects of anesthesia techniques on oxygen consumption, cardiac output and therefore mixed venous oxygenation can significantly affect arterial oxygenation during one-lung anesthesia. While pursuing increases in cardiac output may, under limited circumstances, benefit arterial oxygenation during one-lung ventilation, this approach is not a panacea and does not obviate the necessity to optimize dependent lung volume. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.