The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Detection of Pulmonary Emboli in the Swine Model:

John Davies, MA RRT; Greg Ahearn, MD; Neil MacIntyre, MD; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

INTRODUCTION: Detection of pulmonary emboli is very difficult to detect clinically. Detection usually involves extensive scanning of the patient. We hypothesize that using end tidal CO2 (ETCO2) monitoring it may be possible to provide earlier detection of pulmonary emboli in patients who have a higher risk.

Methods: Six swine were injected with a 12 cc air bolus three times each in ten minute intervals. ETCO2 and VCO2 (volumetric carbon dioxide) were measured using the NICO monitor (Respironics, Wallingford, Connecticut). Data was collected after each of the injections and the results are illustrated in the chart below.

RESULTS: A drop in both ETCO2 and VCO2 was observed initially at about the 30 second mark with the maximum decrease seen at about 2 minutes. Both of these parameters returned to baseline by the 10 minute mark. Changes in hemodynamics can be observed as well.  







CONCLUSION: The CO2 monitor was able to detect a decrease in the ETCO2 that corresponded with the presence of pulmonary emboli. This could be a valuable tool in early detection of pulmonary emboli in patients who are at risk.

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