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Near-infrared spectroscopy in vegetables and humans

An observational study

Kahn, Ronald A.; Anyanwu, Anelechi

European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA): December 2018 - Volume 35 - Issue 12 - p 907–910
doi: 10.1097/EJA.0000000000000855
Christmas issue

BACKGROUND Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of tissue oxygen saturation is claimed to be a surrogate marker for global cerebral perfusion. Increasingly, NIRS target-based therapy has been used during cardiac surgery in the hope of decreasing the incidence of adverse neurological outcome.

OBJECTIVES We report NIRS values for some common vegetables and faculty at a world-class medical institution.

DESIGN Observational nonblinded study.

SETTING Single tertiary care institution and local urban vegetable market.

PARTICIPANTS Five yams (Dioscorea cayenensis), five courgettes (Cucurbita pepo) and five butternut squashes (Cucurbita moschata) were studied. Five cardiothoracic surgeons and anaesthesiologists were the control group.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES NIRS value of each species.

RESULTS Mean NIRS value for the control group was 71% [95% confidence interval (CI) 68 to 74] and was similar to that of the yellow squashes [75% (95% CI 74 to 76)]. These values were significantly greater than the NIRS measurements of both the butternut squash and yam [63% (95% CI 62 to 64) and 64% (95% CI 63 to 65), respectively, P < 0.01].

CONCLUSION Commonly eaten vegetables have NIRS measurements similar to those seen in healthy humans.

From the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine (RAK) and Department of Cardiovascular Surgery (AA), The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA; and Division of Anesthesiology, Pain, and Intensive Care, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel (RAK)

Correspondence to Ronald A. Kahn, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Box 1010, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA Tel: +1 212 241 6366; e-mail:

Published online 17 July 2018

© 2018 European Society of Anaesthesiology