There is evidence that bilirubin does not affect the accuracy of pulse oximetry and pulse oximeters are still accurate in the presence of severe hyperbilirubinaemia 1.
In theory there is no reason anaemia should cause pulse oximeters to be inaccurate and experiments in dogs have shown accuracy reliable enough for "clinical purposes" (Moyle 2002:49)2 as long as the packed cell volume was larger than 15%. Clinical experience has shown good performance with haemoglobin as low as 2.3 g/dl 2.
It has been shown that pulse oximetry can detect low oxygen saturation accurately in sickle cell disease 3, however other researchers have suggested caution in interpreting pulse oximetry values in sickle cell disease.
page last modified: 01/01/2009