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CORP: The assessment of total hemoglobin mass by carbon monoxide rebreathing

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In this Cores of Reproducibility in Physiology (CORP) article, we present the theory and practical aspects of the carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing method for the determination of total hemoglobin mass in humans. With CO rebreathing, a small quantity of CO is diluted in O2 and rebreathed for a specified time period, during which most of the CO is absorbed and bound to circulating hemoglobin. The dilution principle then allows calculation of the total number of circulating hemoglobin molecules based on the number of absorbed CO molecules and the resulting changes in the fraction of carboxyhemoglobin in blood. Total hemoglobin mass is derived by multiplication with the molar weight of hemoglobin. CO rebreathing has been used for >100 yr and has undergone steady improvement so that today excellent values in terms of accuracy and precision can be achieved if the methodological precautions are carefully followed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Volume123
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
ISSN8750-7587
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

ID: 52608525