Updated: 8/17/2019

Oxygen Content of Blood

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Overview
  • ~15.0 g/dL hemoglobin in blood
    • most oxygen in blood is attached to hemoglobin
    • > 5.0 g/dL deoxyhemoglobin in blood cyanosis
    • ↓ hemoglobin → ↓ O2 content
    • ↓ hemoglobin does not change O2 saturation, arterial PO2
      • chronic lung disease → ↓ arterial PO2
        • physiologic shunt ↓ O2 extraction ratio
  • 1.0 g hemoglobin can bind 1.34 mL O2
  • O2 binding capacity 
    • = (15.0 g hemoglobin / dL blood) x (1.34 mL O2 / 1.0 g hemoglobin) = 20.1 mL O2 / dL
  • O2 content = (O2 binding capacity) x (% saturation) + dissolved O2
    • dissolved oxygen can usually be ignored because it is multiplied by 0.003 to correct for units (mL O2 / mmHg / dL), and becomes negligible
  • O2 delivery = (cardiac output) x (O2 content)
 

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