1. The oxygen content of venous and of arterial blood from fifteen essentially normal individuals at rest in bed has been determined.
2. The percentage saturation of the arterial blood has varied between 100 and 94.3. The average is 95.5 per cent.
3. The oxygen consumption has varied between 2.6 and 8.3 volumes per cent.
4. The oxygen content and the percentage saturation of arterial blood taken at close intervals from three different peripheral arteries of a normal individual have shown values agreeing within the limits of error. Analyses of the blood gases of a normal individual, at rest and after exercise, have shown a lowering of the percentage oxygen saturation of the arterial blood and a diminished carbon dioxide content after exercise.
5. In three persons with severe anemia the saturation of the arterial blood has not differed from the normal. Very low absolute values were found for the oxygen content of the venous blood, but the normal oxygen consumption has been maintained.
6. The carbon dioxide content of the arterial blood from ten normal individuals has varied between 54.7 and 44.6 volumes per cent. That of the venous blood has varied between 60.4 and 48.3 volumes per cent.
7. No deviations from the normal values for oxygen and carbon dioxide were found in venous and arterial blood from cardiac patients without arrhytiunias, well compensated, and at rest in bed.
8. A series of determinations has been made upon nine cardiac patients with varying degrees of decompensation. The percentage oxygen saturation of the arterial blood on admission was abnormally low in seven of these cases. With the return to compensation and with the clearing up of pulmonary symptoms, the percentage saturation of the arterial blood returned to normal in four of them.
9. In a case of long standing mitral endocarditis with auricular fibrillation it remained low over a period of I month of observation.
10. In a case of chronic myocarditis secondary to emphysema and chronic bronchitis, it remained low over the period of observation.
11. Normal values for the percentage saturation of the arterial blood were found in two individuals with decompensated aortic disease but without physical signs of extensive pulmonary involvement.
12. The oxygen consumption tended to be high in individuals with cardiac disease during the periods of marked decompensation and to be lower as compensation was regained.
13. The data presented indicate that at least in many circulatory diseases during decompensation, particularly when there are physical signs of pulmonary congestion, there is a disturbance of the pulmonary exchange, as indicated by the lowering of the percentage saturation of the arterial blood with oxygen.