Forehead is as sensitive as finger pulse oximetry during general anesthesia

Shigekazu Sugino, Noriaki Kanaya, Masahito Mizuuchi, Masayasu Nakayama, Akiyoshi Namiki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To compare the performance of a forehead probe to a conventional finger pulse oximetry probe in anesthetized patients. Methods: Eighteen patients participated in the study. Each probe was connected to a Nellcor N-550 pulse oximeter. Anesthesia was induced and maintained with propofol. After intubation, the patients received air to achieve a steady-state of peripheral arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2). Ventilation was interrupted to induce a hypoxic state. As soon as one of the two SpO2's decreased to 90%, the patients' lungs were ventilated with 100% oxygen. To evaluate the performance of the two pulse oximeters, time to the lowest (TL), time of recovery (TR) and lag times to beginning of SpO2 decrease (Lag) were measured. Results: There were no significant differences in TL and TR between forehead and finger pulse oximetry under normal perfusion conditions during general anesthesia. When the axillary artery was compressed to mimic reduced peripheral perfusion, SpO2 in the forehead decreased sooner than in the finger during hypoxia. The forehead and finger TLs were similar, however, TR was significantly longer in the finger. Conclusion: The forehead SpO2 sensor can be used as an alternative to the conventional finger sensor during general anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Anesthesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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