This experiment investigated the relationship between oxygen consumption and oxygen delivery (cardiac output × arterial oxygen content) in an acute canine model. Previous studies investigating this relationship have largely utilized methods in which oxygen consumption and oxygen delivery were each calculated using the same measured variables resulting in mathematical coupling of variables. In this study, oxygen consumption was measured directly by closed-circuit spirometry. Oxygen delivery was independently controlled using right atrial bypass. These techniques assured that the values for oxygen consumption and oxygen delivery were derived entirely independently. In our study using 11 dogs, we found that oxygen consumption was constant and independent of oxygen delivery at oxygen delivery levels >8.0 cc/kg/min (normal canine oxygen delivery 20-25 cc/kg/min). Oxygen consumption was linearly related to oxygen delivery at oxygen delivery levels ≤ 8.0 cc/kg/min. Below this critical level of oxygen delivery, animals were more acidotic and hypotensive than at higher delivery levels.
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