Recent advances in pulse oximetry

F1000 Medicine Reports 08/2009; 1. DOI: 10.3410/M1-66
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Conventional pulse oximetry uses two wavelengths of light (red and infrared) transmitted through a finger and a photodetector to analyze arterial hemoglobin oxygen saturation and pulse rate. Recent advances in pulse oximetry include: extended analysis of the photo plethysmographic waveform; use of multiple wavelengths of light to quantify methemoglobin, carboxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin content in blood; and use of electronic processes to improve pulse oximeter signal processing during conditions of low signal-to-noise ratio. These advances have opened new clinical applications for pulse oximeters that will have an impact on patient monitoring and management.

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Available from: Pekka Talke, Aug 07, 2014
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    • "Motion rejection is generally achieved using various algorithms for differentiation between pure PPG signals and those contaminated by motion noise, but also through the introduction of improved hardware. Advances in PPG-signal analysis that are not related to pulse oximetry, such as the perfusion index and PPG variability, are also beyond the scope of the current review (see Cannesson and Talke).68 "
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    ABSTRACT: Oxygen saturation in the arterial blood (SaO2) provides information on the adequacy of respiratory function. SaO2 can be assessed noninvasively by pulse oximetry, which is based on photoplethysmographic pulses in two wavelengths, generally in the red and infrared regions. The calibration of the measured photoplethysmographic signals is performed empirically for each type of commercial pulse-oximeter sensor, utilizing in vitro measurement of SaO2 in extracted arterial blood by means of co-oximetry. Due to the discrepancy between the measurement of SaO2 by pulse oximetry and the invasive technique, the former is denoted as SpO2. Manufacturers of pulse oximeters generally claim an accuracy of 2%, evaluated by the standard deviation (SD) of the differences between SpO2 and SaO2, measured simultaneously in healthy subjects. However, an SD of 2% reflects an expected error of 4% (two SDs) or more in 5% of the examinations, which is in accordance with an error of 3%-4%, reported in clinical studies. This level of accuracy is sufficient for the detection of a significant decline in respiratory function in patients, and pulse oximetry has been accepted as a reliable technique for that purpose. The accuracy of SpO2 measurement is insufficient in several situations, such as critically ill patients receiving supplemental oxygen, and can be hazardous if it leads to elevated values of oxygen partial pressure in blood. In particular, preterm newborns are vulnerable to retinopathy of prematurity induced by high oxygen concentration in the blood. The low accuracy of SpO2 measurement in critically ill patients and newborns can be attributed to the empirical calibration process, which is performed on healthy volunteers. Other limitations of pulse oximetry include the presence of dyshemoglobins, which has been addressed by multiwavelength pulse oximetry, as well as low perfusion and motion artifacts that are partially rectified by sophisticated algorithms and also by reflection pulse oximetry.
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    Annals of Biomedical Engineering 04/2011; 39(7):1994-2009. DOI:10.1007/s10439-011-0304-7 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of pulse oximetry in clinical practice has allowed for simple, noninvasive, and reasonably accurate estimation of arterial oxygen saturation. Pulse oximetry is routinely used in the emergency department, the pediatric ward, and in pediatric intensive and perioperative care. However, clinically relevant principles and inherent limitations of the method are not always well understood by health care professionals caring for children. The calculation of the percentage of arterial oxyhemoglobin is based on the distinct characteristics of light absorption in the red and infrared spectra by oxygenated versus deoxygenated hemoglobin and takes advantage of the variation in light absorption caused by the pulsatility of arterial blood. Computation of oxygen saturation is achieved with the use of calibration algorithms. Safe use of pulse oximetry requires knowledge of its limitations, which include motion artifacts, poor perfusion at the site of measurement, irregular rhythms, ambient light or electromagnetic interference, skin pigmentation, nail polish, calibration assumptions, probe positioning, time lag in detecting hypoxic events, venous pulsation, intravenous dyes, and presence of abnormal hemoglobin molecules. In this review we describe the physiologic principles and limitations of pulse oximetry, discuss normal values, and highlight its importance in common pediatric diseases, in which the principle mechanism of hypoxemia is ventilation/perfusion mismatch (eg, asthma exacerbation, acute bronchiolitis, pneumonia) versus hypoventilation (eg, laryngotracheitis, vocal cord dysfunction, foreign-body aspiration in the larynx or trachea). Additional technologic advancements in pulse oximetry and its incorporation into evidence-based clinical algorithms will improve the efficiency of the method in daily pediatric practice.
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