Cardiovascular Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 213–217 | Cite as

Rapid Noninvasive Continuous Monitoring of Oxygenation in Cerebral Ischemia and Hypoxia

Original Paper


The brain is most sensitively dependent on oxygen to maintain its normal function. Methods to assess the degree of its oxygenation have generally been invasive and indirect. Rapid assessment of brain oxygenation is particularly vital during cerebrospinal ischemia and hypoxia. We have developed a noninvasive electro-optical method using pulsed near-infrared (NIR) light to quantify brain oxygenation during ischemia and hypoxia in anesthetized rabbits. Cerebral ischemia was induced through 30–40 s of bi-lateral carotid artery occlusion. Cerebral hypoxia was induced by varying inspired oxygen levels. The NIR light response to the interventions was expressed in terms of relative absorption (RA). Results showed that our pulsed NIR system could rapidly detect sudden alterations in oxygenation and blood flow to the brain. The response patterns during cerebral ischemia and hypoxia were significantly different, although both decreased brain oxygenation. The overall RA response to ischemia was much faster (in seconds) than during hypoxia (in minutes). These different response patterns can serve as early warning signal of low brain oxygenation and to discriminate the cause of the diminished oxygenation. The present pulsed NIR system is capable to provide a rapid, noninvasive and continuous monitoring of such decreases in brain oxygenation.


Near-infrared light Brain blood flow Brain oxygenation Cerebral ischemia Cerebral hypoxia Hemoglobin 



This work was supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury Research.


  1. Amory D, Wang T, Li JK-J, Asinas R. Noninvasive monitoring of cerebral oxygen saturation during cardiac surgery using near infrared spectroscopy. In: Proceedings of 7th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia. 1992. p. 103.Google Scholar
  2. Amory DW, Pan L, Li JK-J. Reduced cerebral oxygenation following hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass. Anesthesiol. 1994;81:A58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin G, Jutzy R, Chance B, Barlow C. Non-invasive monitoring of human brain oxidative metabolism. Front Biol Energ. 1978;2:1445–55.Google Scholar
  4. Benni PB, Chen B, Amory D, Li JK-J. A Novel Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system for measuring regional oxygen saturation. In: Proceedings of 21st Northeast Bioengineering Conference. 1995. p. 105–7.Google Scholar
  5. Benni PB, Li JK-J, Chen B, Cammarota J. NIRS monitoring of pilots subjected to +Gz Acceleration and g-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC). Adv Expt Biol Med. 2003a;530:371–9.Google Scholar
  6. Benni PB, Li JK-J, Chen B, Cammarota J. Correlation of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) determined cerebral oxygenation with severity of pilot +Gz acceleration symptoms. Adv Expt Biol Med. 2003b;530:381–9.Google Scholar
  7. Cairns CB, Fillipo D, Proctor HJ. A non-invasive method for monitoring the effects of increased intracranial pressure with near infrared spectrophotometry. Surg Gyn Obst. 1985;16:145–8.Google Scholar
  8. Chance B, Leigh CS, Miyabe S, Smith DS, Nioka S, Greenfield R, Finander M, Kaufman K, Levy W, Young M, Cohen P, Yoshioka H, Boretsky R. Comparison of time-resolved and un-resolved measurements of deoxyhemoglobin in brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1988;85:4971–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cope M, Delpy DT. System for long-term measurement of cerebral blood flow and tissue oxygenation on newborn infants by infrared transillumnation. Med Biol Eng Comput. 1998;26:289–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cope M, Delpy DT, Reynolds EOR, Wray S, Wyatt J, Van der Zee P. Methods of quantitating cerebral near infrared spectroscopy data. Adv Expt Med Biol. 1988;222:183–9.Google Scholar
  11. Fox E, Jobsis FF, Mitnick M. Monitoring cerebral oxygen sufficiency anesthesia and surgery. Adv Expt Med Biol. 1985;91:849–54.Google Scholar
  12. Giannini I, Ferrari M, Capri A, Fasella P. Rat brain monitoring by near-infrared spectroscopy: an assessment of possible clinical significance. Physiol Chem Phys. 1982;14:295–305.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Hazeki O, Tamura M. Quantitative analysis of hemoglobin oxygenation state of rat brain in situ by near-infrared spectrosphotometry. J Appl Physiol. 1988;64:796–802.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Jobsis FF. Oxidative metabolic effects of cerebral hypoxia. Adv Neurol. 1979;26:299–318.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Jobsis FF. Non-invasive near infrared monitoring of cellular oxygen sufficiency in vivo. Adv Expt Med Biol. 1985;191:833–42.Google Scholar
  16. Jobsis FF, Keizer JH, LaManna JC, Rosenthal M. Reflectance spatrophotometry of cytochrome aa3 in vivo. J Appl Physiol. 1977;43:858–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Keizer HH, Jobsis FF, Lucas SS, Piantadosi CA, Sylvia AL. The near infrared (NIR) absorption band of cytochrome a, a3 in purified enzyme, isolated mitchondria and in the intact brain in situ. Adv Expt Med Biol. 1985;191:823–35.Google Scholar
  18. Kerbaugh S. Investigation of physiological conditions that affect pulse oximetry signals. M.S. thesis (J.K-J. Li, advisor). Rutgers University: New Brunswick; 1990.Google Scholar
  19. Li JK-J. Hemodynamic significance of metabolic turn-over rate. J Theor Biol. 1983;103:333–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Li JK-J, Amory D, Jensen C, Sigel G Jr. Noninvasive assessment of brain oxygenation and blood flow. In: Proceedings of 16th Northeast Bioengineering Conference. 1990. p. 107–8.Google Scholar
  21. Li JK-J, Wasicko MJ, Melton JE, Neubauer JA, Petrozino J, Edelman NH. Tonic and respiratory-synchronous modulations of systemic vascular tone during brain hypoxia or hypercapnia. FASEB J. 1988;2:A1324.Google Scholar
  22. Sakatani K, Chen S, Lichty W, Zuo H, Wang Y. Cerebral blood oxygenation changes induced by auditory stimulation in newborn infants measured by near infrared spectroscopy. Early Hum Dev. 1999;55:229–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Tamura M, Hazeki O, Nioka S, Chance B, Smith DS. The simultaneous measurements of tissue oxygen concentration and energy state by near infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Adv Expt Med Biol. 1988;222:359–63.Google Scholar
  24. Wang T, Li JK-J, Amory D. Near infrared monitoring of oxygenation during acute brain Ischemia and hypoxia. In: Proceedings of 13th International Conference Engineering in Medicine and Biology. vol.13. 1991. p. 1612–13.Google Scholar
  25. Wyatt JS, Cope H, Delpy DT, Wray S, Renolds E. Quantification of cerebral oxygenation and hemodynamcs in sick newborn infants by near infrared spectroscopy. Lancet. 1986;8515:1063–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yu QP, Melton JE, Li JK-J, Neubauer JA, Edelman NH. The response of the phrenic neurogram to sinusoidal brain hypoxia. FASEB J. 1991;5:A.Google Scholar
  27. Yu QP, Neubauer JA, Melton JE, Wasicko MJ, Li JK-J, Krawciw N, Edelman NH. Effect of Brain Hypoxia on the Dynamic Characteristics of the Peak and Frequency of Phrenic Nerve. FASEB J. 1988;2:A1507.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringCardiovascular Engineering LabPiscatawayUSA

Personalised recommendations