A systematic review of human and veterinary applications of noninvasive tissue oxygen monitoring

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To describe the methodology for and utilization of tissue oxygen monitoring by near infrared spectroscopy, and to review the current literature on the use of this monitoring modality in human and veterinary settings.

Data Sources

Scientific reviews and original research found using the PubMed and CAB Abstract search engines with the following keywords: “tissue oxygen monitoring,” “near-infrared tissue spectroscopy,” and “tissue oxygen saturation (StO2).”

Human Data Synthesis

Tissue oxygen monitors have been evaluated in a wide variety of human clinical applications including trauma and triage, surgery, sepsis, and septic shock, and early goal-directed therapy. StO2 more rapidly identifies occult shock in human patients compared to traditional methods, which can lead to earlier intervention in these patients.

Veterinary Data Synthesis

Veterinary studies involving tissue oxygen monitoring are limited, but the technology may have utility for identification of hemorrhagic shock earlier than changes in base excess, blood lactate concentration, or other traditional perfusion parameters.


Tissue oxygen monitoring is most commonly performed utilizing a noninvasive, portable monitor, which provides real-time, continuous, repeatable StO2 measurements. A decline in StO2 is an early indicator of shock in both human and veterinary patients. Low StO2 values in human patients are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and length of hospitalization, as well as the development of multiple organ system dysfunction and surgical site infections.

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