Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Adult Circulatory Shock: A Systematic Review

J Intensive Care Med. 2020 Oct;35(10):943-962

Near-infrared spectroscopy-derived StO2 can predict mortality in circulatory shock, but high-quality data on the impact of NIRS monitoring are lacking.

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Circulatory shock affects every third patient in intensive care units and is associated with high mortality. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) could serve as a means for monitoring tissue perfusion in circulatory shock.

To assess the evidence of NIRS monitoring in circulatory shock, we conducted a systematic review of the literature.

The study protocol was registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO). We searched PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus, and EBM Reviews databases. The reference lists of included articles, last volumes of key journals, and NIRS monitor manufacturers’ webpages were searched manually. Two reviewers independently selected included studies. The quality of studies was assessed. The qualitative synthesis was guided by 3 questions: First, does NIRS monitoring improve patient-centered outcomes in adult circulatory shock patient? Second, do NIRS-derived parameters predict patient-centered outcomes, such as mortality and organ dysfunction, and third, does NIRS monitoring give additional information to guide treatment decisions?

Eighteen observational studies with 927 patients were included. Because of considerable clinical heterogeneity of the data, we were not able to perform a meta-analysis. Also, due to lack of randomized controlled trials, the first review question could not be answered. Based on the current review, baseline tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) however seems to predict mortality and identify patients with most severe forms of circulatory shock.

Near-infrared spectroscopy-derived StO2 can predict mortality in circulatory shock, but high-quality data on the impact of NIRS monitoring are lacking. Furthermore, the marked heterogeneity of the studies makes combining the results of individual studies difficult. Standardization of methodology and clinical randomized trials are needed before wider clinical use.