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Correspondence and Brief Communications
March 1998

Gastric Tonometry Is Easy and Valuable

Arch Surg. 1998;133(3):335. doi:

It was with great anticipation that we began to read the article by Barie1 on advances in critical care monitoring. Dr Barie makes some excellent points; however, the article should have been labeled as representing the opinions of him only.

In particular, his comments on gastric tonometry showed either severe bias or lack of information. Dr Barie may or may not be aware that air is now used instead of saline solution for insufflation of the balloon. The equilibration time used routinely now is 15 to 30 minutes, not 2 to 4 hours. In addition, the analysis is performed by an infrared sensor and not by a conventional blood gas analyzer. The technique, therefore, is no longer "cumbersome" but is now a matter of connecting the catheter to the machine and turning on the switch. Re-equilibration of the machine needs to be performed every 2 months.

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