Validation of frontal near-infrared spectroscopy as noninvasive bedside monitoring for regional cerebral blood flow in brain-injured patients

Philipp Taussky, Brandon O'Neal, Wilson P. Daugherty, Sothear Luke, Dallas Thorpe, Robert A. Pooley, Clay Evans, Ricardo A. Hanel, William D. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Object: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) offers noninvasive bedside measurement of direct regional cerebral arteriovenous (mixed) brain oxygenation. To validate the accuracy of this monitoring technique, the authors analyzed the statistical correlation of NIRS and CT perfusion with respect to regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements. Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases in which NIRS measurements were obtained at a single, academic neurointensive care unit from February 2008 to June 2011 in which CT perfusion was performed at the same time as NIRS data was collected. Regions of interest were obtained 2.5 cm below the NIRS bifrontal scalp probe on CT perfusion with an average volume between 2 and 4 ml, with mean CBF values used for purposes of analysis. Linear regression analysis was performed for NIRS and CBF values. Results: The study included 8 patients (2 men, 6 women), 6 of whom suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage, 1 ischemic stroke, and 1 intracerebral hemorrhage and brain edema. Mean CBF measured by CT perfusion was 61 ml/100 g/min for the left side and 60 ml/100 g/min for the right side, while mean NIRS values were 75 on the right and 74 on the left. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a statistically significant probability value (p < 0.0001) comparing NIRS frontal oximetry and CT perfusion-obtained CBF values. Conclusions: The authors demonstrated a linear correlation for frontal NIRS cerebral oxygenation measurements compared with regional CBF on CT perfusion imaging. Thus, frontal NIRS cerebral oxygenation measurement may serve as a useful, noninvasive, bedside intensive care unit monitoring tool to assess brain oxygenation in a direct manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE2
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral oxygenation
  • Computed tomography perfusion
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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