Low pO2 (Hypoxemia or Low O2 in Blood)

Differential Diagnosis

Chronic bronchitis




Central or peripheral neuromuscular disorders

Right-to-left shunts of great vessels

Pulmonary embolism and pulmonary infarction


Selected lung cancers

Suggested Additional Lab Testing

If there is a need to monitor blood gases, pCO and blood pH would be useful.

  • In most of these circumstances, the testing is performed only in the acute setting when there is likely to be a major change in blood gas values. Identifying the specific disorders listed is valuable, because it may indicate the precise cause for the hypoxemia.