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J Biomed Opt. 2016 Sep;21(9):091302. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.21.9.091302.

Measuring reactive hyperemia in the lower limb using near-infrared spectroscopy.


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has been used to measure reactive hyperemia following a vascular occlusion. However, the procedures and methods of analysis used have varied. The purpose of the present study is to identify reproducible methods for measuring reactive hyperemia using HbO2 NIRS signals in the calf and foot. Healthy participants (10 male, 10 female) aged 19 to 28 years performed one of two tests: reproducibility trials or elevation protocol (30 and 60 cm limb elevation above the heart). The time to 50% reperfusion (T1/2) and the second (R2q) quartile rates of reperfusion were found to be the most reproducible parameters (coefficient of variation= 7.12 to 14.1%). The time to 95% reperfusion (T95) was 12.7% more reproducible on average than the previously reported parameter of time to peak hyperemia. Measures of reperfusion time and rate slowed with increasing limb elevation. Correlations were identified between the calf and foot in the measurements of R2q (R2 = 0.713, p = 0.021), T1/2 (R2 = 0.673, p = 0.033), and T95 (R2 = 0.792, p = 0.006). Half and 95% recovery times and second and third quartile rates expressed good reproducibility and sensitivity to change with reduced perfusion pressure. NIRS measures of reactive hyperemia have the potential to evaluate microvascular perfusion in clinical populations.

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