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Dynamic near-infrared spectroscopy measurements in patients with severe sepsis correlate with invasive hemodynamic measurements


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has recently been utilized to monitor tissue perfusion in hemorrhagic shock. NIRS has also demonstrated changes in tissue perfusion in severe sepsis. NIRS combined with arterial and venous occlusion cuffing can be used to noninvasively measure thenar and systemic oxygen delivery (DO2I), and oxygen consumption (VO2I). We hypothesized that DO2I and VO2I measured by NIRS in patients with severe sepsis will be associated with severity of illness and will correlate with DO2I and VO2I measured invasively and by metabolic cart.


Septic patients (n = 10) were selected for the study who met criteria for severe sepsis, had a pulmonary artery catheter, and had family able to give written consent. Normal age-matched control patients (n = 9) were enrolled for comparison. We measured the mean arterial pressure (MAP), serum lactate, plasma hemoglobin, mixed venous oxygen saturation (SVO2), and systemic oxygen consumption via metabolic cart (metVO2I), and calculated systemic oxygen consumption and delivery via pulmonary artery catheter (paVO2I, paDO2I), thenar oxygen delivery (nir.thenarDO2I), thenar oxygen consumption (nir.thenarVO2I), systemic oxygen delivery (nir.sysDO2I), systemic oxygen consumption (nir.sysVO2I), and mixed venous oxygen saturation (nirSVO2) in patients with severe sepsis in a surgical ICU. The same data, without invasive hemodynamic measurements, were measured once in volunteers. NIRS data were collected from the thenar eminence using the Inspectra system (Hutchinson Technology, Hutchinson, MN, USA). A poor outcome was defined by multiorgan dysfunction 7 days after the development of severe sepsis, death within 28 days of severe sepsis, or both.


Healthy volunteers and septic patients were similar with respect to age and sex. MAP and hemoglobin were decreased and serum lactate increased in septic patients compared with healthy volunteers. In septic patients, nirSVO2correlated with SVO2 (P < 0.001), nir.sysVO2I correlated with metVO2I (P = 0.017), and nir.sysDO2I correlated with paDO2I (P < 0.001). Interestingly, paVO2I did not correlate well with metVO2I (P = 0.435). Of these patients, 4/10 developed poor outcome. Patients with poor outcomes had significant elevations of paDO2I (P < 0.001), nir.thenarDO2I (P = 0.005), nir.sysDO2I (P < 0.001), and SVO2(P < 0.001) compared with patients who did not develop poor outcomes.


NIRS measurements of SVO2 and DO2I correlated with invasively measured values in patients with severe sepsis. Interestingly, nir.sysVO2I correlated more closely to metVO2I than did paVO2I. Dynamic NIRS values were predictive of outcomes. This suggests a role for NIRS measurements of SVO2, DO2I, and VO2I in patients in severe sepsis.

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Skarda, D., Taylor, J., Mulier, K. et al. Dynamic near-infrared spectroscopy measurements in patients with severe sepsis correlate with invasive hemodynamic measurements. Crit Care 9, P74 (2005).

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  • Severe Sepsis
  • Mean Arterial Pressure
  • Septic Patient
  • Pulmonary Artery Catheter
  • Serum Lactate