Detection of Right-to-Left Shunts with an Arterial Potentiometric Electrode
Saline solution saturated with hydrogen is completely cleared of hydrogen in passing through the normal lung. The presence of dissolved hydrogen, which can be detected with a platinum electrode, in the aorta following the injection of hydrogen saturated solutions into the right heart is therefore diagnostic of a right-to-left shunt. Localization of the shunt is made by a series of injections into the various chambers of the heart. Since the electrode also responds to increased concentrations of sodium ascorbate, this substance can be used as an indicator in itself and as a test to establish the functional ability of the aortic electrode. The sensitivity and speed of the response of the electrode, together with the relative simplicity and inexpensiveness of the procedure, makes the technic readily adaptable to routine diagnostic catheterizations in infants.
- © 1960 American Heart Association, Inc.