Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Volume 765, 2013, pp 67-72,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jul 2012

Normobaric Hyperoxia Does Not Change Optical Scattering or Pathlength but Does Increase Oxidised Cytochrome c Oxidase Concentration in Patients with Brain Injury


We report the use of a novel hybrid near-infrared spectrometer for the measurement of optical scattering, pathlength and chromophore concentration in critically ill patients with brain injury. Ten mechanically ventilated patients with acute brain injury were studied. In addition to standard neurointensive care monitoring, middle cerebral artery flow velocity, brain lactate–pyruvate ratio (LPR) and brain tissue oxygen tension were monitored. The patients were subjected to graded normobaric hyperoxia (NBH), with the inspired fraction of oxygen increased from baseline to 60% then 100%. NBH induced significant changes in the concentrations of oxyhaemoglobin, deoxyhaemoglobin and oxidised–reduced cytochrome c oxidase; these were accompanied by a corresponding reduction in brain LPR and increase in brain tissue oxygen tension. No significant change in optical scattering or pathlength was observed. These results suggest that the measurement of chromophore concentration in the injured brain is not confounded by changes in optical scattering or pathlength and that NBH induces an increase in cerebral aerobic metabolism.