Use of non-invasive NIRS during a vascular occlusion test to assess dynamic tissue O2 saturation response

Hernando Gómez, Andrés Torres, Patricio Polanco, Hyung Kook Kim, Sven Zenker, Juan Carlos Puyana, Michael R. Pinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Introduction: We assessed tissue O2 saturation (StO2) and total hemoglobin (HbT) changes during a vascular occlusion test (VOT) as markers of O2 consumption and cardiovascular reserve. Methods: Using the non-invasive InSpectra® near infrared spectrometer, we studied the effect of VOT to StO2 < 40% then release on thenar eminence StO2 and HbT in 15 normal volunteers (controls) and 10 trauma patients. We repeated the VOT four times in controls and twice in patients, with controls exercising during the last VOT, and correlated StO 2 with HbT changes by linear regression analysis. Results: StO 2 started to decrease 3-28 s post-occlusion (latency) in controls and then decreased in a linear fashion (-0.18 ± 0.04% O2/s, mean ± SD), while post-occlusion StO2 recovery was rapid (5.20 ± 1.19% O2/s). Exercise decreased latency (0-5 s) and increased desaturation rate (-0.18 and -0.69% O2/s, P < 0.005) without altering recovery. Trauma patients showed similar StO2 desaturation rates, but slower recovery (5.20 ± 1.19 vs. 2.88 ± 1.71%/s, P < 0.0001). Repeated VOT gave similar recovery results within study groups. The hyperemic response was variable in both groups and, if present, was associated with an increased HbT. HbT pre- and post-VOT were significantly different within each subject. Although HbT slope of recovery correlated significantly with StO2 recovery in trauma patients (rho 0.76), it was not in controls. Conclusions: One VOT defines StO2 deoxygenation and recovery. That StO2 and HbT recovery co-vary only in trauma patients suggests that pre-existing vasoconstriction was unmasked by the ischemic challenge consistent with increased sympathetic tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1607
Number of pages8
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Cardiovascular reserve
  • Human study
  • Microcirculation
  • Tissue oxygen saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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