Near infrared spectroscopy based clinical algorithm applicability during spinal neurosurgery and postoperative cognitive disturbances

Sniedze Mūrniece, Martin Soehle, Indulis Vanags, Biruta Mamaja

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    13 Citations (Scopus)
    10 Downloads (Pure)


    Background and Objectives: Postoperative cognitive disturbances (POCD) can significantly alter postoperative recovery. Inadequate intraoperative cerebral oxygen supply is one of the inciting causes of POCD. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices monitor cerebral oxygen saturation continuously and can help to guide intraoperative patient management. The aim of the study was to evaluate the applicability of the NIRS-based clinical algorithm during spinal neurosurgery and to find out whether it can influence postoperative cognitive performance. Materials and Methods: Thirty four patients scheduled for spinal neurosurgery were randomized into a study group (n = 23) and a control group (n = 11). We monitored regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rScO2) throughout surgery, using a NIRS device (INVOS 4100). If rScO2 dropped bilaterally or unilaterally by more than 20% from baseline values, or under an absolute value of 50%, the NIRS-based algorithm was initiated in the study group. In the control group, rScO2 was monitored blindly. To evaluate cognitive function, Montreal-Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scale was used in both groups before and after the surgery. Results: In the study group, rScO2 dropped below the threshold in three patients and the NIRS-based algorithm was activated. Firstly, we verified correct positioning of the head; secondly, we increased mean systemic arterial pressure in the three patients by injecting repeated intravenous bolus doses of Ephedrine, ultimately resulting in an rScO2 increase above the approved threshold level. None of the three patients showed POCD. In the control group, one patient showed a drop in rScO2 of 34% from baseline and presented with a POCD. RScO2 drop occurred with other stable intraoperative measurements. Conclusions: A significant rScO2 drop may occur during spinal surgery in prone position despite other intraoperative measurements remaining stable, allowing it to stay otherwise unrecognized. Use of the NIRS-based clinical algorithm can help to avoid POCD in patients after spinal surgery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number179
    JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2019


    • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
    • NIRS-based clinical algorithm
    • Postoperative cognitive disturbances (POCD)
    • Regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rScO2)
    • Spinal surgery

    Field of Science*

    • 3.2 Clinical medicine

    Publication Type*

    • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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