The relationship between end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PETCO2), arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), and blood pH in isoflurane-anesthetized raptors was evaluated. PaCO2 and pH were determined in serial arterial samples from isoflurane anesthetized birds and compared with concurrent end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide measured with a Microstream sidestream capnograph. Forty-eight paired samples, taken from 11 birds of prey (weighing 416–2,062 g), were used to determine correlations coefficients between PaCO2 and PETCO2, and between PETCO2 and pH. Limits of agreement between PaCO2 and PETCO2 also were calculated. Strong correlations were observed between PaCO2 and PETCO2 (r = 0.94; P < 0.0001) as well as between PETCO2 and pH (r = −0.90; P < 0.0001). However, the level of agreement between PaCO2 and PETCO2 varied considerably. Low values of PETCO2, ranging from 18 to 29 mm Hg, exceeded the concomitantly measured values of PaCO2 by an average of 6.0 mm Hg (6.0 ± 1.9 mm Hg; mean ± SD). Conversely, high values of PETCO2, ranging from 50 to 63 mm Hg, were on average 7.6 mm Hg (7.6 ± 9.8 mm Hg) lower than values of PaCO2. In the 30 to 49 mm Hg range for PETCO2, the difference between PETCO2 and PaCO2 was on average 1.0 mm Hg (1.0 ± 8.5 mm Hg). These results suggest that the capnograph used provided a sufficiently accurate estimation of arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide for birds weighing >400 g and receiving manual positive ventilation with a Bain system. In our study, the linear relationship observed between the pH and the end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide suggested that the monitoring of end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide also can be useful to prevent respiratory acidosis.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1