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Rev Sci Instrum. 2009 May;80(5):054302. doi: 10.1063/1.3123347.

A broadband continuous-wave multichannel near-infrared system for measuring regional cerebral blood flow and oxygen consumption in newborn piglets.

Author information

  • 1Imaging Division, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario N6A 4V2, Canada. mdiop@lawsonimaging.ca

Erratum in

  • Rev Sci Instrum. 2010 Mar;81(3):039902.


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a promising technique for assessing brain function in newborns, particularly due to its portability and sensitivity to cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation. Methods for measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) have been developed based on broadband continuous-wave NIRS. However, broadband NIRS apparatus typically have only one detection channel, which limits their applicability to measuring regional CBF and CMRO(2). In this study, a relatively simple multiplexing approach based on electronically controlled mechanical shutters is proposed to expand the detection capabilities from one to eight channels. The tradeoff is an increase in the sampling interval; however, this has negligible effects on CBF measurements for intervals less than or equal to 1 s. The ability of the system to detect focal brain injury was demonstrated in piglets by injecting endothelin-1 (ET-1) into the cerebral cortex. For validation, CBF was independently measured by computed tomography (CT) perfusion. The average reduction in CBF from the source-detector pair that interrogated the injured region was 51%+/-9%, which was in good agreement with the CBF reduction measured by CT perfusion (55%+/-5%). No significant changes in regional CMRO(2) were observed. The average regional differential pathlength prior to ET-1 injection was 8.4+/-0.2 cm (range of 7.1-9.6 cm) and did not significantly change after the injury.

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