Transcranial oximetry using fast near infrared spectroscopy can detect failure of collateral blood supply in humans


We tested the hypothesis that transcranial oximetry by fast scanning near infrared spectroscopy can detect local desaturation of hemoglobin in arterial vessels of cerebral circulation with impaired blood supply. A total of 74 near infrared spectroscopy recordings were taken from the intact skull of humans. Perfusion of the hemisphere under the detector was assessed in one of four groups: (1) healthy volunteer; (2) patient, unaffected side; (3) patient, affected side with intact collateral blood supply; (4) patient, affected side, impaired collateral blood supply. Transcranial saturation was 0.90±0.01 (all values reported as mean±S.E.) in healthy volunteers (n=24), 0.92±0.008 in the unaffected hemisphere of patients (n=23), 0.92±0.001 in the affected side if collateral supply with blood was intact (n=16). There was no statistical significance between these groups. Saturation in affected hemispheres with impaired collateral blood supply (n=9) was 0.81±0.028, which was significantly different from all other groups (P<0.05, one way-ANOVA). We conclude, that transcranial pulse oximetry can detect local hypoxia if collateral blood supply fails. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology