End-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring during flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy

  • Mohammed A Taher King Hussein Medical Center, Amman, Jordan
  • FA Kamash
Keywords: end-tidal Pco<sub>2</sub>, fiber optic bronchoscopy, Spo<sub>2</sub>


In recent years, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB) has been applied for diagnostic and some therapeutic purposes. During FFB and even in the presence of supplemental oxygen, hypoventilation leading to hypoxia and desaturation may occur; this is aggravated by the use of suction. Arterial oxygen saturation is usually monitored with pulse oximetry Spo2) during FFB; END-TIDAL Pco2) (ET-Pco2) monitoring is not routinely used. Two-hundred patients were studied between May 1998 till April 2003, at the divisions of chest surgery and pulmonolgy at King Hussein Medical Center, (khmc). Their ages were 53±19 years (mean±SD). They underwent FFB and received supplemental oxygen during various stages of FFB: 1-before and during instillation of hdocaine on the vocal cords, 2-during passage of instrument into the trachea, RMB, IMB, 3-during bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial biopsy, transbronchial biopsy (TBB), and 4-at the final stages of FFB, ET- Pco2 significantly decreased from Spo2 using a pulse oximeter simultaneously and the results were recorded. Mean ET-Pco2 significantly decreased from 28.7±4.5 mmHg before FFB to 28±5.7 mmHg, 27±5.5 mmHg, 27.5±5.6 mmHg, 27.1±4.5 mmHg, 27.9±5.3 mmHg during bronchoscopy of the right main bronchus (RMB), left main bronchus (LMB), bronchial washing, bronchial biopsy and transbronchial biopsy (TBB), and at the termination of FFB, respectively (p<0.05). In 118 patients (59%), the decrease of ET- Pco2 was equal to or greater than 4 mmHg; in 105 patients (52.5%) the amount of decrease in Spo2 was = 5% and in 32 patients (16%), Spo2 decreased = 10%. No correlation was found between decreasing ET-Pco2 and Spo2 decreased during bronchoscopy. We also speculate that this reflects airway obstruction by the instrument. Further studies and more experimental analysis in this field are recommended.

Keywords: end-tidal Pco2, fiber optic bronchoscopy, Spo2

Mary Slessor Journal of Medicine Vol. 5(2) 2005: 1-4

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-409X
print ISSN: 1119-409X