Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Neurocritical Care: A Review of Recent Updates

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neurocritical diseases and conditions are common causes of long-term disability and mortality. Early recognition and management of neurocritically ill patients is a significant challenge for neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neurointensivists. Although cerebral angiography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and radionuclide imaging are useful in neuromonitoring and neuroimaging, they have several important limitations: they are not readily available, cannot be used for a continuous assessment of cerebral function, and frequently require patient transport to the radiological department. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an inexpensive, portable, noninvasive method that does not require advanced expertise and can be used at the bedside for critically ill patients without moving them to the radiology department. NIRS can detect and monitor multiple critical parameters, including cerebral oximetry, intracranial pressure, temperature, and cerebral blood flow. NIRS can be valuable for a wide variety of neurocritical diseases and conditions, such as ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, severe traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, and perioperative neurosurgery. Although NIRS has been studied extensively in multiple neurocritical conditions, more evidence on its application is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Coma
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Neurocritical care unit
  • NIRS
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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