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Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals in neonatal and paediatric patients

Kyriacou, P. A., Wardhaugh, A., Jones, D. P. , Langford, R. M. & Petros, A. J. (2002). Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals in neonatal and paediatric patients. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, 28(S1), S86-S120. doi: 10.1007/s00134-002-1455-7


Pulse oximeters are widely used in paediatric intensive care but they have some severe limitations. The technique relies on the presence of adequate peripheral arterial pulsations, which are detected as photoplethysmographic signals (PPG). When peripheral perfusion is poor as in states of hypovolaemia, hypothermia and vasoconstriction oxygenation readings become extremely unreliable. Hence, pulse oximetry becomes unreliable in a significant group of children just at the time when accurate readings are most needed. To overcome this limitation, the oesophagus has been investigated as a potential measurement site on the hypothesis that perfusion may well be better preserved at this central site. Studies on adult patients have shown that measurable PPG signals at red and infrared wavelengths can be detected within the whole depth of the oesophagus. A new system to investigate the quality of oesophageal PPG signals is being constructed with the aim of developing a neonatal and paediatric oesophageal pulse oximeter.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Subjects: R Medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 2002 KYRIACOU et al (Barcelona 2002) Intensive Care Medicine, V(28) Supplement 1, S111.pdf]
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