The dose responsiveness of selected physiologic indices was studied in a sheep model of smoke inhalation injury. In this model, graded severity of injury was achieved by changing the contact time with smoke (defined by 'unit'), whereas other variables were kept constant. Blood gas and cardiopulmonary indices were measured in 70 sheep, including 12 controls, either 24 or 72 hours after exposure to 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, or 18 units of smoke. A 12-unit dose of smoke was fatal within 72 hours and an 18-unit dose was fatal within 24 hours. The best correlation between smoke dose and response was observed in arterial oxygen tension 24 hours after exposure. At 24 hours, most of the cardiopulmonary indices showed significant change only after a 12-unit exposure. Although the exact shape of the dose-response curve could not be defined, sigmoid or curved linear shape was suggested, reflecting the progressive deterioration.
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