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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


MARTINS, M.A. et al. 13CO2 recovery fraction in expired air of septic patients under mechanical ventilation. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.7, pp.563-570. ISSN 1414-431X.

The continuous intravenous administration of isotopic bicarbonate (NaH13CO2) has been used for the determination of the retention of the 13CO2 fraction or the 13CO2 recovered in expired air. This determination is important for the calculation of substrate oxidation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate, in critically ill patients with sepsis under mechanical ventilation, the 13CO2 recovery fraction in expired air after continuous intravenous infusion of NaH13CO2 (3.8 µmol/kg diluted in 0.9% saline in ddH2O). A prospective study was conducted on 10 patients with septic shock between the second and fifth day of sepsis evolution (APACHE II, 25.9 ± 7.4). Initially, baseline CO2 was collected and indirect calorimetry was also performed. A primer of 5 mL NaH13CO2 was administered followed by continuous infusion of 5 mL/h for 6 h. Six CO2 production (VCO2) measurements (30 min each) were made with a portable metabolic cart connected to a respirator and hourly samples of expired air were obtained using a 750-mL gas collecting bag attached to the outlet of the respirator. 13CO2 enrichment in expired air was determined with a mass spectrometer. The patients presented a mean value of VCO2 of 182 ± 52 mL/min during the steady-state phase. The mean recovery fraction was 0.68 ± 0.06%, which is less than that reported in the literature (0.82 ± 0.03%). This suggests that the 13CO2 recovery fraction in septic patients following enteral feeding is incomplete, indicating retention of 13CO2 in the organism. The severity of septic shock in terms of the prognostic index APACHE II and the sepsis score was not associated with the 13CO2 recovery fraction in expired air.

Keywords : Recovery fraction; 13CO2; Stable isotope; Septic shock; Intensive care setting.

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