Purpose: The management of circulating blood volume (BVc) is crucial in int
ensive care unit (ICU) patients. The purpose of this study was to verify th
e accuracy and precision of the carbon monoxide-labeled hemoglobin (COHb) d
ilution method (CO method) by comparing it with the Cr-51-labeled erythrocy
te dilution method (Cr-51 method) for the measurement of BVc.
Methods: A prospective study was performed in 18 patients who underwent cor
onary artery bypass grafting (CABG) under mild hypothermic cardiopulmonary
bypass (CPB). The BVc was measured by both the CO method and the Cr-51 meth
od at 24 hr after ICU admission in order to verify the accuracy and precisi
on of the CO method. Paired data were assessed in absolute terms, and perce
ntage errors were calculated by the degree of agreement.
Results: Small mean differences and standard deviations between the CO meth
od and the Cr-51 method (-70.2 +/- 184.8 mL) and small percentage errors (-
0.49 +/- 1.29%) indicated the accuracy and precision of the CO method, and
a close correlation was observed (r=0.97).
Conclusion: The CO method can measure BVc with a similar degree of accuracy
as the Cr-51 method. It is simple, repeatable and safe without the risk of
exposure to radioactivity in the ICU.