A research team led by investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida hasfound that a small device worn on a patient’s brow can be useful inmonitoring stroke patients in the hospital. The device measures blood oxygen,similar to a pulse oximeter, which is clipped onto a finger. Their study, published in Neurosurgical Focus , suggests this tool, known as frontal near-infrared spectroscopy(NIRS), could offer hospital physicians a safe and cost-effectiveway to monitor patients who are being treated for a stroke, in realtime. “About one-third of stroke patients in the hospital suffer anotherstroke, and we have few options for constantly monitoring patientsfor such recurrences,” says the study’s senior investigator,neurocritical care specialist William Freeman, M.D., an associateprofessor of neurology at Mayo Clinic. Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
“This was a small pilot study initiated at Mayo Clinic’s campus inFlorida, but we plan to study this device more extensively and hopethat this bedside tool offers significant benefit to patients byhelping physicians detect strokes earlier and manage recoverybetter,” he says. Currently, at most hospitals nurses monitor patients for newstrokes and, if one is suspected, patients must be moved to ahospital’s radiology unit for a test known as a CT perfusion scan,which is the standard way to measure blood flow and oxygenation.This scan requires that a contrast medium be used, and the entireprocedure can sometimes cause side effects such as excess radiationexposure if repeated scans are required. Also, potential kidney andairway damage can result from the contrast medium. Alternately, for the sickest patients, physicians can insert anoxygen probe inside the brain to measure blood and oxygen flow, butthis procedure is invasive and measures only a limited brainregion, Dr. Apple Earpods Headphones
Freeman says. This NIRS device, which emits near-infrared light that penetratesthe scalp and underlying brain tissue, has been used in animals tostudy brain blood, so the Mayo Clinic team thought that measuringthe same parameters in stroke patients might be useful. They set upa study to compare measurements from NIRS with CT perfusionscanning in eight stroke patients. The results show that both tests offer statistically similarresults, although NIRS has a more limited field for measuring bloodoxygen and flow. “That suggests that perhaps not all patients wouldbenefit from this kind of monitoring,” he says. Sony MDR In Ear Headphones
The device sticks like an adhesive bandage onto each of thepatient’s eyebrows and works like the pulse oximeter that isusually used on a patient’s finger to monitor health or brainperfusion during surgery. If the device is successfully tested in upcoming studies andminiaturized, the NIRS might also be useful in military settings toassess and monitor blood functioning due to brain injuries, Dr.Freeman says. Researchers from the University of South Florida College ofMedicine and the University of North Florida College of Arts andScience participated in the study, along with several collegestudents who were participating in Mayo Clinic’s Clinical ResearchScholar Program (CRISP). “This research could not have been accomplished without thededication and assistance from our CRISP premedical student BrandonO’Neal, and vascular neurosurgery fellow Philipp Taussky, M.D.,”notes Dr. Freeman.
“We are excited about the future possibilitiesin which this tool would be very useful.” Additional References Citations.