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Cerebral tissue oxygenation index in very premature infants
  1. G Naulaers1,
  2. G Morren2,
  3. S Van Huffel2,
  4. P Casaer1,
  5. H Devlieger1
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2ESAT/SISTA-COSIC, Department of Electrical Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Naulaers, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital UZ Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium;


Aim: To describe normal values of the cerebral tissue oxygenation index (TOI) in premature infants.

Methods: TOI was measured by spatially resolved spectroscopy in preterm infants on the first 3 days of life. Infants with an abnormal cranial ultrasound were excluded. Other simultaneously measured variables were Pao2, Paco2, pH, mean arterial blood pressure, heart rate, haemoglobin, glycaemia, and peripheral oxygen saturation.

Results: Fifteen patients with a median postmenstrual age of 28 weeks were measured. There was a significant increase in median TOI over the first 3 days of life: 57% on day 1, 66.1% on day 2, and 76.1% on day 3. Multiple regression analysis showed no correlation between TOI and postmenstrual age, peripheral oxygen saturation, mean arterial blood pressure, Pao2, Paco2, and haemoglobin concentration.

Conclusion: Cerebral TOI increases significantly in the first 3 days of life in premature babies. This increase probably reflects the increase in cerebral blood flow at this time.

  • near infrared spectroscopy
  • brain oxygenation
  • tissue oxygenation index
  • NIRS, near infrared spectroscopy
  • TOI, tissue oxygenation index

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