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The Horowitz index (synonyms: oxygenation after Horowitz, Horowitz quotient, P/F ratio) is a ratio used to assess lung function in patients, particularly those on ventilators. It is useful for evaluating the extent of damage to the lungs. The simple abbreviation as oxygenation can lead to confusion with other conceptualizations of oxygenation index.
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In healthy lungs the Horowitz index depends on age and usually falls between 350 and 450. A value below 300 is the threshold for mild lung injury, and 200 is indicative of a moderately severe lung injury. A value below 100 as a criterion for a severe injury.
The Horowitz index plays a major role in the diagnosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Three severities of ARDS are categorized based on the degree of hypoxemia using the Horowitz index, according to the Berlin definition.
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