1. Thirty-one determinations of the total oxygen-combining power and the oxygen in the venous blood from vena mediana cubiti of sixteen resting patients are reported.

2. The difference between the total oxygen capacity of the hemoglobin and the oxygen in the venous blood, the oxygen unsaturation, is calculated.

3. In twelve patients with compensated heart lesions the unsaturation was found within normal limits, between 2.5 and 8 volume per cent.

4. In four patients with incompensated heart disease the values for the unsaturation were all above the normal limit, from 9.7 to 15.2 volume per cent.

5. A general discussion of the problem of interpreting the results is given.

6. A comparison is drawn between the oxygen consumption calculated from direct determination of the blood flow on a normal subject (the writer) and the oxygen unsaturation determined 4 years later on the same subject. A close agreement between the two series of values exists.

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