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Br J Anaesth. 2009 Dec;103 Suppl 1:i3-13. doi: 10.1093/bja/aep299.

Near-infrared spectroscopy as an index of brain and tissue oxygenation.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University Hospital-LHSC, University of Western Ontario, Rm C3-112, 339 Windermere Rd, London, ON, Canada N6A 5A5.


Continuous real-time monitoring of the adequacy of cerebral perfusion can provide important therapeutic information in a variety of clinical settings. The current clinical availability of several non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-based cerebral oximetry devices represents a potentially important development for the detection of cerebral ischaemia. In addition, a number of preliminary studies have reported on the application of cerebral oximetry sensors to other tissue beds including splanchnic, renal, and spinal cord. This review provides a synopsis of the mode of operation, current limitations and confounders, clinical applications, and potential future uses of such NIRS devices.

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