King's College London

Research portal

A left shift in the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Dominik J Vogel, Federico Formenti, Andrew Retter, Francesco Vasques, Luigi Camporota

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-393
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
Accepted/In press4 Sep 2020
Published1 Nov 2020


King's Authors


Critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present with hypoxaemia and are mechanically ventilated to support gas exchange. We performed a retrospective, observational study of blood gas analyses (n = 3518) obtained from patients with COVID-19 to investigate changes in haemoglobin oxygen (Hb–O 2) affinity. Calculated oxygen tension at half-saturation (p 50) was on average (±SD) 3·3 (3·13) mmHg lower than the normal p 50 value (23·4 vs. 26·7 mmHg; P < 0·0001). Compared to an unmatched historic control of patients with other causes of severe respiratory failure, patients with COVID-19 had a significantly higher Hb–O 2 affinity (mean [SD] p 50 23·4 [3·13] vs. 24·6 [5.4] mmHg; P < 0·0001). We hypothesise that, due to the long disease process, acclimatisation to hypoxaemia could play a role.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454