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Non-invasive optical monitoring of the newborn piglet brain using continuous-wave and frequency-domain spectroscopy


We have used continuous-wave (CW) and frequency-domain spectroscopy to investigate the optical properties of the newborn piglet brain in vivo and non-invasively. Three anaesthetized, intubated, ventilated and instrumented newborn piglets were placed into a stereotaxic instrument for optimal experimental stability, reproducible probe-to-scalp optical contact and 3D adjustment of the optical probe. By measuring the absolute values of the brain absorption and reduced scattering coefficients at two wavelengths (758 and 830 nm), frequency-domain spectroscopy provided absolute readings (in contrast to the relative readings of CW spectroscopy) of cerebral haemoglobin concentration and saturation during experimentally induced perturbations in cerebral haemodynamics and oxygenation. Such perturbations included a modulation of the inspired oxygen concentration, transient brain asphyxia, carotid artery occlusion and terminal brain asphyxia. The baseline cerebral haemoglobin saturation and concentration, measured with frequency-domain spectroscopy, were about 60% and 42 microM respectively. The cerebral saturation values ranged from a minimum of 17% (during transient brain asphyxia) to a maximum of 80% (during recovery from transient brain asphyxia). To analyse the CW optical data, we have (a) derived a mathematical relationship between the cerebral optical properties and the differential pathlength factor and (b) introduced a method based on the spatial dependence of the detected intensity (dc slope method). The analysis of the cerebral optical signals associated with the arterial pulse and with respiration demonstrates that motion artefacts can significantly affect the intensity recorded from a single optode pair. Motion artefacts can be strongly reduced by combining data from multiple optodes to provide relative readings in the dc slope method. We also report significant biphasic changes (initial decrease and successive increase) in the reduced scattering coefficient measured in the brain after the piglet had been sacrificed.

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