Lightweight noninvasive trauma monitor for early indication of central hypovolemia and tissue acidosis: A review

Babs R. Soller, Fengmei Zou, Kathy L. Ryan, Caroline A. Rickards, Kevin Ward, Victor A. Convertino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Hemorrhage is a major cause of soldier death; it must be quickly identified and appropriately treated. We developed a prototype patient monitor that noninvasively and continuously determines muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2), muscle pH (pHm), and a regional assessment of blood volume (HbT) using near-infrared spectroscopy. Previous demonstration in a model of progressive, central hypovolemia induced by lower body negative pressure (LBNP) showed that SmO2 provided an early indication of impending hemodynamic instability in humans. In this review, we expand the number of subjects and provide an overview of the relationship between the muscle and sublingual microcirculation in this model of compensated shock. Methods: Healthy human volunteers (n = 30) underwent progressive LBNP in 5-minute intervals. Standard vital signs, along with stroke volume (SV), total peripheral resistance, functional capillary density, SmO2, HbT, and pHm were measured continuously throughout the study. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: SmO2 and SV significantly decreased during the first level of central hypovolemia (-15 mm Hg LBNP), whereas vital signs were later indicators of impending cardiovascular collapse. SmO2 declined with SV and inversely with total peripheral resistance throughout LBNP. HbT was correlated with declining functional capillary density, suggesting vasoconstriction as a cause for decreased SmO2 and subsequently decreased pHm. CLINICAL TRANSLATION: The monitor has been miniaturized to a 58-g solid-state sensor that is currently being evaluated on patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever. Early results demonstrate significant decreases in SmO2 similar to those observed with progressive reductions in central blood volume. As such, this technology has the potential to (1) provide a monitoring capability for both nontraumatic and traumatic hemorrhage and (2) help combat medics triage casualties and monitor patients during lengthy transport from combat areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S106-S111
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Lower body negative pressure
  • medical monitoring
  • shock
  • vasoconstriction


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