Arterial oxygen tension, oxygen delivery to tissue, and systemic inflammation are recognized as pivotal factors in the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, interconnections between systemic inflammation and tissue oxygen availability are scantly investigated. Tissue oxygen availability depends on arterial PaO 2, oxygen concentration, hemoglobin oxygen affinity (P 50), and hemoglobin oxygen binding capacity ( ceHb). As the integrated changes of those indices are summarized by oxygen extraction tension (PaO 2x), the objective of this study was to explore the association between C-reactive protein (CRP) blood levels and either PaO 2x or each of its determinants, in stable COPD.
Blood CRP and oxygen status of arterial blood were measured at rest while breathing room air in 44 moderate to severe stable COPD patients. PaO 2x was calculated along the shape of oxygen binding curve as the oxygen tension resulting from removal of 2.3 mmol of oxygen per liter of blood. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed with PaO 2, ceHb, and P 50 as independent variables, and CRP as the dependent variable, adjusting for age and sex. The analysis was repeated using PaO 2x as a sole independent variable.
Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that ceHb, PaO 2, and P 50, were significant and independent predictors of CRP (R 2 = 0.52, p < 0.0001). PaO 2x alone was an even stronger predictor of CRP (R 2 = 0.62, p < 0.0001).
These findings indicate that physiological determinants of tissue oxygen availability are independently associated with CRP blood levels. Thus, improvement of tissue oxygen availability is a central therapeutic option to modulate the severity of systemic inflammatory processes in patients with COPD.