Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The cerebral oximeter is a new device that measures venous oxygen saturations of the brain utilizing near-infrared spectroscopy. Approximately 40% of adult cardiac patients show neurological dysfunction after cardiac surgery; often leading to prolonged hospital stays (Edmonds, Ganzel, & Austin, 2004). Utilization of cerebral oximetry has been associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of neurological impai1ment and a decrease in hospital stay by up to 3 days (Yao, Tseng, & Trifiletti, 2000). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the benefits, applications, and limitations of cerebral oximetry monitoring in adult cardiac surgery. It is important that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and other clinicians have a thorough understanding of the physiology of cerebral perfusion and factors that influence cerebral blood flow. Clinicians must be aware of the technology of cerebral oximetry and its role in the prevention of neurological dysfunction following cardiac surgery. The review of literature will focus on the utilization of cerebral oximetry in adult cardiac surgery patients. The results of this paper from reviewing retrospective studies have shown promising outcomes with the use of cerebral oximetry. Risks and costs of monitoring cerebral perfusion are minimal and the ability to improve a patient's quality of life and socioeconomic status are immeasurable.