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Comparison of NIRS, laser Doppler flowmetry, photoplethysmography, and pulse oximetry during vascular occlusion challenges

Abay, T. Y. & Kyriacou, P. A. (2016). Comparison of NIRS, laser Doppler flowmetry, photoplethysmography, and pulse oximetry during vascular occlusion challenges. Physiological Measurement, 37(4), pp. 503-514. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/37/4/503


© 2016 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Monitoring changes in blood volume, blood flow, and oxygenation in tissues is of vital importance in fields such as reconstructive surgery and trauma medicine. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), laser Doppler (LDF) flowmetry, photoplethysmography (PPG), and pulse oximetry (PO) contribute to such fields due to their safe and noninvasive nature. However, the techniques have been rarely investigated simultaneously or altogether. The aim of this study was to investigate all the techniques simultaneously on healthy subjects during vascular occlusion challenges. Sensors were attached on the forearm (NIRS and LDF) and fingers (PPG and PO) of 19 healthy volunteers. Different degrees of vascular occlusion were induced by inflating a pressure cuff on the upper arm. The responses of tissue oxygenation index (NIRS), tissue haemoglobin index (NIRS), flux (LDF), perfusion index (PPG), and arterial oxygen saturation (PO) have been recorded and analyzed. Moreover, the optical densities were calculated from slow varying dc PPG, in order to distinguish changes in venous blood volumes. The indexes showed significant changes (p < 0.05) in almost all occlusions, either venous or over-systolic occlusions. However, differentiation between venous and arterial occlusion by LDF may be challenging and the perfusion index (PI) may not be adequate to indicate venous occlusions. Optical densities may be an additional tool to detect venous occlusions by PPG.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in 'physiological Measurement'. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at
Publisher Keywords: near infrared spectroscopy; laser Doppler lowmetry; photoplethysmography; pulse oximetry; noninvasive optical techniques; physiological monitoring; vascular occlusions.
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of CRO 2016 T Y Abay and P A Kyriacou Comparison of NIRS, laser Doppler flowmetry, photoplethysmography… Physiol. Meas. 37 (2016) 503–514.pdf]
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