• To determine if angiography results in arterial oxygen desaturation, we prospectively studied 40 clinically stable patients undergoing arterial angiography. Arterial oxygen saturation (Sao2) was monitored before, during, and for at least three minutes after contrast medium injection. The mean (±SEM) Sao2 was 94.2%±0.39% before injection and fell to 92.6%±0.66% following injection. Eleven patients (28%) demonstrated a decrease in Sao2 of more than 3%, with six (15%) having a postinjection Sao2 of less than 90%. To determine if the vascular route of injected contrast medium influenced the subsequent level of oxygenation, we similarly evaluated the Sao2 of 20 consecutive patients undergoing venous angiography. The Sao2 was 94.2%±0.33% before contrast medium injection and fell to 92.5%±0.78% following injection. Six patients (30%) experienced a fall in Sao2 of more than 3%, with four (20%) having a postinjection Sao2 of less than 90%. We conclude that arterial oxygen desaturation occurs frequently in patients
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