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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Jul;160(1):317-23.

Novel assessment of acute lung injury by in vivo near-infrared spectroscopy.

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  • 1Second Department of Surgery, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Hiroshima, Japan.


We investigated the feasibility and validity of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for evaluation of acute lung injury (ALI). In an in vitro model simulating the spectrophotometric characteristics of the lung, NIR spectroscopy could precisely detect changes in water volume, suggesting its ability to assess the extent of pulmonary edema caused by ALI. The different grades of ALI were induced in rats by administering oleic acid and varying the pulmonary ventilation conditions, and NIR spectroscopy was employed to determine lung water content and hemoglobin (Hb) oxygenation of the lungs. NIR spectroscopy detected increased water content even in histologically mild ALI. The changes in lung water content measured by NIR spectroscopy were significantly correlated with gravimetric lung water content (r = 0.877, p < 0.0001). Deoxy-Hb measured by NIR spectroscopy consistently reflected the histological changes in the lungs, and the deoxy-Hb levels correlated with changes in SaO2 (r = -0.798, p < 0.0001). These findings demonstrate that NIR spectroscopy can evaluate lung water content and Hb oxygenation quantitatively, and may be a useful tool for assessing pathological status in ALI.

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