Reference values of arterial oxygen tension in the middle-aged and elderly

I. Cerveri, M. C. Zoia, F. Fanfulla, L. Spagnolatti, L. Berrayah, M. Grassi, C. Tinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of available reference values of arterial PO2, particularly for elderly persons, led us to study a sample of 194 normal nonsmoking subjects, equally distributed over all age ranges from 40 to 90 yr. The radial artery was punctured and blood samples were taken and analyzed on an automated, computerized gas-analyzer. The trend of the mean values of PaO2 in the 5-yr class intervals of age showed a clear decline up to the 70- to 74-yr class, and then an inversion. The two regression lines intersecting at this point provided a better fit to the data than did a single regression line (R2 2 - R1 2 = 0.918 - 0.678 = 0.24; F = 20.49, p = 0.0027). The relationship of PaO2 with age was thus subsequently considered for the two subgroups (40 to 74 yr; ≥ 75 yr) identified on the basis of this cutoff. Because of the significant influence on PaO2 of age, body-mass index (BMI), and PaCO2 in the group 40 to 74 yr of age, the following reference equation was constructed: PaO2 (mm Hg) = 143.6 - (0.39 · age) -(0.56 - BMI) - (0.57. PaCO2); R2 = 0.28; SEE = 7.48; p <0.0001. For subjects ≥ 75 yr old, for whom there was no correlation with age, BMI, or PaCO2, only the mean ± SD and 5th percentile of PaO2 were reported (83.4 ± 9.15 mm Hg and 68.4 mm Hg, respectively). PaCO2 values were not correlated with either age or BMI; the mean ± SD was 35.79 ± 3.87 mm Hg. Our study yields appropriate reference values of PaO2, including the lower and upper limits for subjects aged 40 to 90 yr, that can be used routinely in pulmonary function laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Reference values of arterial oxygen tension in the middle-aged and elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this