Capnometry for noninvasive continuous monitoring of metabolic status in pediatric diabetic ketoacidosis

Estevan Garcia, Thomas J. Abramo, Pamela Okada, Daniel D. Guzman, Joan S. Reisch, Robert A. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the utility of continuous noninvasive capnometry for monitoring pediatric patients with diabetic ketoacidosis as assessed by the agreement between end-tidal carbon dioxide (PetCO2) and PCO 2. Design: Clinical, prospective, observational study. Setting: University affiliated children's hospital. Interventions: Patients with diabetic ketoacidosis were monitored with an oral/nasal carbon dioxide (CO 2) sampling cannula while in the emergency department. Laboratory studies were ordered per protocol. PetCO2 values were correlated with respiratory rate, PCO2, and pH. Measurements and Main Results: One hundred twenty-one patients were monitored for 5.9 ± 0.32 hrs. The average (mean ± SD) initial values for pH were 7.08 ± 0.18; respiratory rate, 35.1 ± 9.1 breaths/min; PetCO2, 18.6 ± 10.8 torr; and venous PCO2, 20.2 ± 10.6 torr. At the conclusion of the observation period, averages were pH, 7.29 ± 0.05; respiratory rate, 22.4 ± 3.7 breaths/min; PetCO2, 35.3 ± 5.8 torr; and venous PCO2, 36.8 ± 5.3 torr. For all 592 observations, the correlations between PetCO2 and venous PCO 2 (r = .92, p = .0001), PetCO2 and pH (r = .88, p = .0001), PetCO2 and respiratory rate (r = -.79, p = .0001), and respiratory rate and pH (r = -.80, p = .0001) were statistically significant and the correlations with respiratory rate were inversely related to pH and PetCO2. The difference scores were not related to the average scores for initial readings (r = -.073, p = .43), final readings (r = -.124, p = .18), and overall readings (r = .057, p = .17). Limits of agreement between the two methods were established with PetCO2 lower than venous PCO 2 with 95% limits of agreement 0.8 ± 8.3 (2 SD) torr. Conclusions: PetCO2 monitoring of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis provides an accurate estimate of PCO2. Noninvasive PetCO2 sampling may be useful in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis to allow for continuous monitoring of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2539-2543
Number of pages5
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Capnometry
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • End-tidal CO
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • PetCO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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