Blood samples from the right ventricle (RV) in rats are usually assumed to be representative of mixed venous blood. However, results presented here suggest that this assumption may not be true in all experimental circumstances. Nineteen male Wistar rats were anaesthetized with urethane and mechanically ventilated. The six gases used in the multiple inert gas elimination technique (MIGET) were administered continuously and samples of mixed expired air and blood from the left carotid artery and RV were simultaneously withdrawn. While inert gas concentrations in arterial blood and mixed expired air were almost homogeneous, those obtained from RV blood showed a high variability, specially evident for the less soluble gases in blood. As inert gases are cleared in the lungs according to their solubility in blood and they are only replaced through the lower systemic circulation, higher or lower concentrations found in RV samples than those expected suggests a preferential collection of blood from the lower or upper systemic circulation, respectively.
- Mixed venous blood
- Multiple inert gas elimination technique
- Right ventricle cannulation