Near infrared spectroscopy: Clinical and research uses

David A. Hampton, Martin A. Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pulse oximetry is routinely used to measure hemoglobin saturation and is currently the gold standard to assess oxygenation in patients. Due to attenuation of infrared light by skin, bone, and other organs, pulse oximetry cannot assess end-organ tissue oxygenation (StO2). Near infrared spectroscopy (NIS) penetrates a broad range of tissues and utilizes reflection rather than direct transmission between an emitter and receiver pair. NIS is able to measure StO2 and assess end-organ perfusion in a variety of applications. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A retrospective review of recent animal and human StO2 studies was undertaken. StO2 measurements and outcomes were assessed. RESULTS: StO2 measurements identified visceral organ ischemia in animal hemorrhage models. These measurements were also able to guide optimization of resuscitation and end-organ oxygenation. Human studies demonstrated StO2 changes preceded those seen in traditionally measured parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, base deficit, serum lactate, and mental status. Additionally, StO2 thresholds identified trauma patients who required massive transfusions, developed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, or experienced lower extremity compartment syndrome. StO2 measurements also demonstrated a benefit in selecting resuscitation fluids, assessing end-organ oxygenation during blood transfusion, and quantifying the oxygen-carrying deficit secondary to the blood storage lesion. CONCLUSION: StO2 measurements have been used to guide resuscitation efforts in trauma patients. This technology and its applications continue to evolve and represent a novel change in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52S-58S
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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