There is great value in monitoring for signs of ischemia during neurovascular procedures. Current intraoperative monitoring techniques provide real-time feedback with limited accuracy. Quantitative frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy (Q-NIRS) allows measurement of tissue oxyhemoglobin (HbO2), deoxyhemoglobin (HHb), and total hemoglobin (tHb) concentrations and brain tissue oxygen saturation (SO2), which could be useful when monitoring for evidence of intraoperative ischemia.
Using Q-NIRS, the authors monitored 25 neurovascular procedures including aneurysm clip placement, arteriovenous malformation resection, carotid endarterectomy, superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass surgery, external carotid artery–MCA bypass surgery, encephaloduromyosynangiosis, and balloon occlusion testing. The Q-NIRS technology provides measurable cerebral oxygenation values independent from those of the scalp tissue. Thus, alterations in the variables measured with Q-NIRS quantitatively reflect cerebral tissue perfusion. Bilateral monitoring was performed in all cases.
Five of the patients exhibited evidence of clinical ischemic events during the procedures. One patient suffered blood loss with systemic hypotension and developed diffuse brain edema intraoperatively, one patient suffered an ischemic event intraoperatively and developed an occipital stroke postoperatively, and one patient showed slowing on electroencephalography intraoperatively during carotid clamping; in two patients balloon occlusion testing failed. In all cases of ischemic events occurring during the procedure, Q-NIRS monitoring showed a decrease in HbO2, tHb, and SO2, and an increase in HHb.
Quantitative frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy provides quantifiable and continuous real-time information about brain oxygenation and hemodynamics in a noninvasive manner. This continuous intraoperative oxygenation monitoring is a promising method for detecting ischemic events during neurovascular procedures.