Intraoperative cerebral oximetry-based management for optimizing perioperative outcomes: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

  • Andres Zorrilla-Vaca
  • Ryan Healy
  • Michael C. Grant
  • Brijen Joshi
  • Lucia Rivera-Lara
  • Charles Brown
  • Marek A. Mirski
Reports of Original Investigations



Although evidence from observational studies in a variety of clinical settings supports the utility of cerebral oximetry as a predictor of outcomes, prospective clinical trials thus far have reported conflicting results. This systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to evaluate the influence of management associated with intraoperative cerebral oximetry on postoperative outcomes. The primary outcome was postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), with secondary outcomes that included postoperative delirium, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and hospital length of stay (LOS).


After searching the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases, all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the impact of intraoperative cerebral oximetry-guided management on clinical outcomes following surgery were identified.

Principal findings

Fifteen RCTs comprising 2,057 patients (1,018 in the intervention group and 1,039 in control group) were included. Intraoperative management guided by the use of cerebral oximetry was associated with a reduction in the incidence of POCD (risk ratio [RR] 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 0.90; P = 0.02; I2 = 85%) and a significantly shorter length of ICU stay (standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.21 hr; 95% CI, −0.37 to −0.05; P = 0.009; I2 = 48%). In addition, overall hospital LOS (SMD, −0.06 days; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.06; P = 0.29; I2 = 0%) and incidence of postoperative delirium (RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.32; P = 0.27; I2 = 0%) were not impacted by the use of intraoperative cerebral oximetry.


Intraoperative cerebral oximetry appears to be associated with a reduction in POCD, although this result should be interpreted with caution given the significant heterogeneity in the studies examined. Further large (ideally multicentre) RCTs are needed to clarify whether POCD can be favourably impacted by the use of cerebral oximetry-guided management.

Gestion peropératoire basée sur l’oxymétrie cérébrale pour améliorer les résultats périopératoires : méta-analyse d’essais randomisés contrôlés



Alors que les données probantes provenant d’études observationnelles réalisées dans différents cadres cliniques témoignent de l’intérêt de l’oxymétrie cérébrale comme élément prédictif des résultats, les essais cliniques prospectifs ont — jusqu’à ce jour — fourni des résultats contradictoires. Cette étude et méta-analyse systématique a été conçue pour évaluer l’influence de la gestion associée à l’oxymétrie cérébrale peropératoire sur les résultats postopératoires. Le critère d’évaluation principal était la dysfonction cognitive postopératoire (POCD) et les critères d’évaluation secondaires étaient, notamment, le délirium postopératoire, la durée du séjour en unité de soins intensifs (USI) et la durée de séjour à l’hôpital (DSH).


Après une recherche dans les bases de données PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus et Google Scholar, tous les essais contrôlés randomisés (ECR) évaluant l’impact de la gestion peropératoire guidée par l’oxymétrie cérébrale sur les résultats cliniques postopératoires ont été identifiés.

Constatations principales

Quinze essais cliniques randomisés ayant inclus 2 057 patients (1 018 dans le groupe interventionnel et 1 039 dans le groupe témoin) ont été inclus. La gestion peropératoire guidée par l’utilisation de l’oxymétrie cérébrale a été associée à une réduction de l’incidence du POCD (rapport de risque [RR] 0,54; intervalle de confiance à 95 % [IC] : 0,33 à 0,90; P = 0,02; I2 = 85 %) et à une plus brève durée de séjour en USI (différence moyenne standardisée [SMD] : −0,21 h; IC à 95 % : −0,37 à −0,05; P = 0,009; I2 = 48 %). De plus, la durée de séjour globale à l’hôpital (SMD : −0,06 jour; IC à 95 % : −0,18 à 0,06; P = 0,29; I2 = 0 %) et l’incidence du delirium postopératoire (RR : 0,69; IC à 95 % : 0,36 à 1,32; P = 0,27; I2 = 0 %) n’ont pas été affectées par l’utilisation de l’oxymétrie cérébrale peropératoire.


L’oxymétrie cérébrale peropératoire semble associée à une réduction du POCD, mais ce résultat doit être interprété avec prudence compte tenu de l’importante hétérogénéité entre les études analysées. D’autres essais cliniques randomisés avec suffisamment de patients (idéalement multicentriques) sont nécessaires pour savoir si le POCD peut être favorablement influencé par l’utilisation de la gestion cérébrale guidée par oxymétrie.


Conflicts of interest

Dr. Lucia Rivera Lara received a grant from Medtronic/Covidien, Dublin, Ireland.

Author contributions

Andres Zorrilla-Vaca contributed to the study conception and design, drafting the manuscript, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data. Ryan Healy was involved in drafting the manuscript and literature search. Michael C. Grant was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it for important intellectual content. Brijen Joshi was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it for important intellectual content. Lucia Rivera-Lara was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it for important intellectual content. Charles Brown was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it for important intellectual content. Marek A. Mirski was involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it for important intellectual content.

Editorial responsibility

This submission was handled by Dr. Hilary P. Grocott, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Financial support

There was no funding source for this study. No authors were paid to write this article.

Supplementary material

12630_2018_1065_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (272 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 272 kb)
12630_2018_1065_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (45 kb)
Table Assessment of Study Quality. Supplementary material 2 (PDF 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversidad del Valle, Hospital Universitario del ValleCaliColombia
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Program of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of HealthUniversidad del ValleCaliColombia

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