M

is used to calculate the degree of venous admixture, and implicitly assumes that all the cardiac output is divided into two parts, of which one passes through ventilated lung and the other (venous admixture) flows through unventilated lung or anatomical shunts ( Wandrup 1995). Although convenient, this calculation erroneously suggests that all shunt blood is equivalent in saturation to that of mixed venous blood. Blood from the bronchial circulation, from the besian circulation, and from lung units with low ventilation-perfusion ratios all contribute to computed shunt. To be precise, the value derived for venous admixture represents the calculated quantity of blood, equivalent in saturation to mixed venous blood, which would be required to reduce the saturation of pulmonary end-capillary blood to the observed value.

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