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Cerebral Oximetry Fails as a Monitor of Brain Perfusion in Cardiac Surgery: A Case Report

McAvoy, James MD*; Jaffe, Richard MD, PhD*; Brock-Utne, John MD, PhD*; López, Jaime MD; Brodt, Jessica MBBS

doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000963
Case Reports

Cerebral oximetry is commonly being advocated as a monitor for regional cerebral tissue oxygenation during cardiac surgery. We have increasing concern about the accuracy of this monitor, including the current systems entering the market, with new probes and algorithms. We present 2 cases where cerebral oximetry failed to accurately portray cerebral oxygenation. In the current form, cerebral oximetry may at best be an expensive tool without any benefit on outcomes. In addition, it may contribute to misleading and confusing clinical data.

From the Departments of *Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine


Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Cardiac Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Accepted for publication December 10, 2018.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to Jessica Brodt, MBBS, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Dr, Room H3583, Stanford, CA 94305. Address e-mail to

Copyright © 2019 International Anesthesia Research Society
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