Determination of myoglobin concentration in blood-perfused tissue

Kazumi Masuda, Kent Truscott, Ping Chang Lin, Ulrike Kreutzer, Youngran Chung, Renuka Sriram, Thomas Jue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The standard method for determining the myoglobin (Mb) concentration in blood-perfused tissue often relies on a simple but clever differencing algorithm of the optical spectra, as proposed by Reynafarje. However, the underlying assumptions of the differencing algorithm do not always lead to an accurate assessment of Mb concentration in blood-perfused tissue. Consequently, the erroneous data becloud the understanding of Mb function and oxygen transport in the cell. The present study has examined the Mb concentration in buffer and blood-perfused mouse heart. In buffer-perfused heart containing no hemoglobin (Hb), the optical differencing method yields a tissue Mb concentration of 0.26 mM. In blood-perfused tissue, the method leads to an overestimation of Mb. However, using the distinct 1H NMR signals of MbCO and HbCO yields a Mb concentration of 0.26 mM in both buffer- and blood-perfused myocardium. Given the NMR and optical data, a computer simulation analysis has identified some error sources in the optical differencing algorithm and has suggested a simple modification that can improve the Mb determination. Even though the present study has determined a higher Mb concentration than previously reported, it does not alter significantly the equipoise PO2, the PO2 where Mb and O2 contribute equally to the O2 flux. It also suggests that any Mb increase with exercise training does not necessarily enhance the intracellular O2 delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Hemoglobin
  • Muscle
  • Oxygen
  • Respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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