Indian Pediatrics

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 769–772 | Cite as

Pulse oximetry screening to detect cyanotic congenital heart disease in sick neonates in a neonatal intensive care unit

  • N. B. MathurEmail author
  • A. Gupta
  • S. Kurien
Research Paper



To evaluate pulse oximetry for detection of congenital cyanotic heart disease in sick neonates using echocardiography as gold standard.


Pulse oximetry readings were taken at admission from 950 neonates from right upper limb and either foot with infant breathing room air. Pulse oximetry was considered abnormal if oxygen saturation at room air measured <90% or difference between right hand and foot was more than 3%. Persistent abnormality was considered positive result. Echocardiography was performed on all neonates with positive pulse oximetry (study group) and on one subsequent neonate with negative screen for each neonate with positive screen (controls).


Pulse oximetry was positive in 210 neonates. It detected 20 out of 21 (95.2%) true positives. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and odds ratio (95% CI) of pulse oximetry was 95.2%, 52.4 %, 9.5, 99.5 and 22 (5.3, 91.4), respectively.


Pulse oximetry screening is useful in detecting cyanotic heart diseases in sick newborns.


Cyanosis Duct-dependent lesions Oxygen saturation Screening 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Pediatrics 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeonatologyMaulana Azad Medical CollegeNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyGB Pant HospitalNew DelhiIndia

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