Oxygen equilibrium curve of normal human blood and its evaluation by Adair's equation.


Oxygen equilibrium curves of fresh, normal human blood have been measured by new methods which allow the control of pH, pCO2, and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and which yield higher accuracy at the extremes of saturation than was possible previously. The curve determined by these techniques lies slightly to the right of the standard curve of Roughton et al. (Roughton, F.J.W., Deland, E.C., Kernohan, J.C., and Severinghaus, J.W. (1972) in Oxygen Affinity of Hemoglobin and Red Cell Acid Base Status (Astrup, P., and Rørth, M., eds) pp. 73-83, Academic Press, New York). The greatest difference is at low oxygen saturation, probably owing to the fact that the latter data were obtained under conditions which would lead to depletion of cellular 2,3-diphosphoglycerate. The range of p50 (oxygen pressure at half-saturation) values for four normal subjects was 28.3 mm Hg to 29.0 mm Hg. Adair's stepwise oxygenation scheme has been used to analyze the curves with the result that a1 = 0.1514 X 10(-1) (+/- 10%) mm-1; a2 = 0.9723 X 10(-3) (+/- 8%) mm-2; a3 = 0.1703 X 10(-3) (+/- 50%) mm-3; a4 = 0.1671 X 10(-5) (+/- 2%) mm-4 for the best of four data sets. Because these constants are very sensitive to changes in the shape of the oxygenation curve, this analysis is much more useful than p50 measurements in the investigation of the various allosteric effectors of the function of hemoglobin within the red cell.

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