The impact of ventilation rate on end-tidal carbon dioxide level during manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Sofía Ruiz de Gauna, Jose Julio Gutiérrez, Jesus Ruiz, Mikel Leturiondo, Izaskun Azcarate, Digna María González-Otero, Carlos Corcuera, James Knox Russell, Mohamud Ramzan Daya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim: Ventilation rate is a confounding factor for interpretation of end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The aim of our study was to model the effect of ventilation rate on ETCO2 during manual CPR in adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of OHCA monitor-defibrillator files with concurrent capnogram, compression depth, transthoracic impedance and ECG. We annotated pairs of capnogram segments presenting differences in average ventilation rate and average ETCO2 value but with other influencing factors (e.g. compression rate and depth) presenting similar values within the pair. ETCO2 variation as a function of ventilation rate was adjusted through curve fitting using non-linear least squares as a measure of goodness of fit. Results: A total of 141 pairs of segments from 102 patients were annotated. Each pair provided a single data point for curve fitting. The best goodness of fit yielded a coefficient of determination R2 of 0.93. Our model described that ETCO2 decays exponentially with increasing ventilation rate. The model showed no differences attributable to the airway type (endotracheal tube or supraglottic King-LT-D). Conclusion: Capnogram interpretation during CPR is challenging since many factors influence ETCO2. For adequate interpretation, we need to know the effect of each factor on ETCO2. Our model allows quantifying the effect of ventilation rate on ETCO2 variation. Our findings could contribute to better interpretation of ETCO2 during CPR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Advanced life support (ALS)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO)
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)
  • Ventilation
  • Ventilation rate
  • Waveform capnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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