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A new noninvasive device for monitoring cerebral oxygen levels in surgical patients under general anesthesia can detect within seconds changes in oxygen supply to the brain, according to Duke University School of Medicine researchers.
The NIROS-SCOPE (Near-InfraRed Oxygen Sufficiency Scope) is the brainchild of Frans F. Jöbsis vander Vliet, PhD, professor of physiology at Duke in Durham, NC. Although he first conceived the idea more than 25 years ago, it was not until recently that technological advances in lasers, fiberoptics, and microprocessors finally "set the stage for development of a new instrument for clinical use," Jöbsis says.
The system primarily reflects any changes in utilization of oxygen by brain cells, and there is presently no other method of doing this. The apparatus consists of a light source containing several lasers, each producing light of a different near-infrared (IR) monochromatic wavelength; two fiberoptic bundles that attach to either side of the
Macek C. Device gauges anesthetized patient's brain O2. JAMA. 1982;248(17):2086–2087. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330170004002
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