What is the role of arterial and venous blood gases in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

Updated: May 30, 2020
  • Author: Inna Leybell, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Cyanide toxicity is characterized by a normal arterial oxygen tension and an abnormally high venous oxygen tension, resulting in a decreased arteriovenous oxygen difference (< 10%). A high-anion-gap metabolic acidosis is a hallmark of significant cyanide toxicity. [9, 24] Apnea may result in combined metabolic and respiratory acidosis.

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