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Cerebral Arterial Oxygen Saturation Measurements Using a Fiber-Optic Pulse Oximeter

Phillips, J. P., Langford, R. M., Chang, S. H. , Maney, K., Kyriacou, P. A. & Jones, D. P. (2010). Cerebral Arterial Oxygen Saturation Measurements Using a Fiber-Optic Pulse Oximeter. Neurocritical Care, 13(2), pp. 278-285. doi: 10.1007/s12028-010-9349-y


A pilot investigation was undertaken to assess the performance of a novel fiber-optic cerebral pulse oximetry system. A fiber-optic probe designed to pass through the lumen of a cranial bolt of the type used to make intracranial pressure measurements was used to obtain optical reflectance signals directly from brain tissue.

Short-duration measurements were made in six patients undergoing neurosurgery. These were followed by a longer duration measurement in a patient recovering from an intracerebral hematoma. Estimations of cerebral arterial oxygen saturation derived from a frequency domain-based algorithm are compared with simultaneous pulse oximetry (SpO2) and emoximeter (SaO2) blood samples.

The short-duration measurements showed that reliable photoplethysmographic signals could be obtained from the brain tissue. In the long-duration study, the mean (±SD) difference between cerebral oxygen saturation (ScaO2) and finger SpO2 (in saturation units) was
-7.47(±3.4)%. The mean (±SD) difference between ScaO2 and blood SaO2 was -7.37(±2.8)%.

This pilot study demonstrated that arterial oxygen saturation may be estimated from brain tissue via a fiber-optic pulse oximeter used in conjunction with a cranial bolt. Further studies are needed to confirm the clinical utility of the technique.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Pulse oximetry, Saturation, Cerebral, Fiber-optic, Cranial bolt
Subjects: R Medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of CRO2010 J. P. Phillips, et al (2010)Cerebral Arterial Oxygen Saturation Measurements using a Fiber-optic..., Neurocritical Care, vol. 13 issue 2 October 2010 278-285.pdf]
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