We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Cerebral Oximetry?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cerebral oximetry is the measurement of oxygen saturation in the brain. This organ requires a great deal of oxygen to function and is extremely sensitive to periods of deprivation. Monitoring oxygen levels can provide important information about a patient's neurological health, and may allow care providers to rapidly address falling oxygen saturation in the brain. This can improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of brain damage, stroke, and other neurological trauma.

Oxygen monitoring is used primarily in an operating room setting when surgeons are concerned that a patient's levels might drop. This can be a particular worry with cardiac surgery, as well as procedures with high rates of blood loss, and surgeries involving children. The anesthesiologist can use cerebral oximetry along with other technology to monitor the patient throughout the procedure. If signs of complications or problems develop, the anesthesiologist can respond and alert the care team.

The equipment used for cerebral oximetry measurements relies on changes in the absorption of light as it passes through the brain to determine the level of oxygen present. This can provide information about local oxygen saturation, and may be combined with readings from elsewhere in the body to determine the distribution of oxygen throughout the patient. Anesthesiologists can program a display to provide readings on blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and other key values of concern throughout the procedure. Monitoring software also generates a log available for review after the surgery.

This testing is not invasive and shouldn't involve pain or disruption for the patient. The anesthesiologist or another care provider places sensors on the skull, tests them to make sure they're working, and connects them with the equipment. These along with other sensors for patient monitoring can be set up as the surgical team prepares to induce anesthesia. Patients who are curious about the equipment used can ask for more information.

In addition to being used in surgery, cerebral oximetry can have some other applications. Sleep studies may involve the use of oximetry to evaluate oxygen levels in the brain and elsewhere in the body to determine if patients experience oxygen deprivation during sleep. This test may also be requested for other reasons if a medical professional believes it to be necessary. When patients are awake during the test, it is important to avoid jarring the cerebral oximetry leads, as this could pull the sensors off or disrupt the readings and necessitate a repeat of the test.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.