American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Ole Siggaard-Andersen, PhD
2003 Edwin F. Ullman Award

Olé Siggaard-Andersen, MD, PhD, is professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and is a former chair of the department of clinical biochemistry at Herlev University Hospital.

His impact began in 1963 with the publication of his doctoral thesis, entitled “The Acid-Base Status of the Blood”, which appeared in five editions and five languages. The book included the “curve nomogram” and the “alignment nomogram”. The curve nomogram was used all over the world in connection with the Astrup method for determination of blood carbon dioxide tension. The method and the nomograms were incorporated in pH-blood gas equipment from Radiometer, Inc. The curve nomogram was reproduced in many textbooks of physiology and clinical chemistry, and the alignment nomogram was reproduced in the Geigy Scientific Tables.

Fifteen years later, Dr. Siggaard-Andersen published a revision of his work he named the Van Slyke equation, which became widely known and was included in the software of many manufacturers of pH-blood gas equipment. His method for anaerobic collection of capillary blood with use of a small piece of iron wire and an external magnet for stirring the blood in the completely filled and closed capillary tube was adopted by all manufacturers of pH-blood gas equipment.

More recently he has been working on a mathematical model of the hemoglobin oxygen dissociation curve, the “tanh equation”, which is based on a hyperbolic tangent function, and on an oxygen status algorithm, a computer program for calculating and displaying pH and blood gas data.

Through his long career, Dr. Siggaard-Andersen has served the field in many capacities, working with professional societies and journals.