Cerebral Oximetry for Cardiac and Vascular Surgery

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The technology of transcranial near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for the measurement of cerebral oxygen balance was introduced 25 years ago. Until very recently, there has been only occasional interest in its use during surgical monitoring. Now, however, substantial technologic advances and numerous clinical studies have, at least partly, succeeded in overcoming long-standing and widespread misunderstanding and skepticism regarding its value. Our goals are to clarify common misconceptions about near-infrared spectroscopy and acquaint the reader with the substantial literature that now supports cerebral oximetric monitoring in cardiac and major vascular surgery.

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