A new device that uses near-infrared light to non-invasively monitor the oxygenation of the brain during surgery appears to be a promising alternative to the more invasive techniques currently in use, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center anesthesiologists.
The researchers said their findings offer the potential for accurate and reliable monitoring of brain oxygenation during cardiac surgeries, to more effectively protect the brain against reduced oxygen levels, or anoxia, which is known to cause cognitive impairment in some surgical patients.
During some surgeries anesthesiologists measure venous oxygenation by periodically removing blood samples from catheters inserted in major blood vessels in the neck and then analyze the samples by co-oximetry. Also, anesthesiologists frequently use a pulse oximeter, attached to the patients finger, to measure arterial blood oxygenation. However, since these measurements are taken on blood outside the brain, physicians can only estimate the level of cerebral oxygenation.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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