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Oxygen consumption (V˙o2) is a measurement used to determine the metabolic rate, and is affected by environmental temperature, body temperature, physical activity, blood flow, and nutrition. Measurements of V˙o2 have been used to study energy balance in newborn infants and to determine the optimal thermal environment for nursing preterm babies.1 More recently it has been suggested that measurements of peripheral V˙o2 may provide an indication of the need for circulatory support during critical care.
Methods used to assess V˙o2 are either based on the Fick’s principle or a gas exchange technique. The standard units used to express V˙o2 are ml O2/kg/min. Neonatal cerebral V˙o2 values using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and jugular venous occlusion have been reported2 and have been expressed in ml/100 g/min. NIRS has been …