Changes in pulmonary oxygen content are detectable with laser absorption spectroscopy: proof of concept in newborn piglets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Using an optical method based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, we previously assessed oxygen (O2) and water vapor (H2O) content in a tissue phantom of the preterm infant lung. Here we applied this method on newborn piglets with induced lung complications. Methods: Five mechanically ventilated piglets were subjected to stepwise increased and decreased fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2), to atelectasis using a balloon catheter in the right bronchus, and to pneumothorax by injecting air in the pleural cavity. Two diode lasers (764 nm for O2 gas absorption and 820 nm for H2O absorption) were combined in a probe delivering light either externally, on the skin, or internally, through the esophagus. The detector probe was placed dermally. Results: Calculated O2 concentrations increased from 20% (IQR 17−23%) when ventilated with room air to 97% (88−108%) at FiO2 1.0. H2O was only detectable with the internal light source. Specific light absorption and transmission patterns were identified in response to atelectasis and pneumothorax, respectively. Conclusions: The optical method detected FiO2 variations and discriminated the two induced lung pathologies, providing a rationale for further development into a minimally invasive device for real-time monitoring gas changes in the lungs of sick newborn infants. Impact: Optical spectroscopy can detect pulmonary complications in an animal model.Oxygen concentrations can be evaluated in the lungs.Presents a novel minimally invasive method to detect lung oxygenation and complications.Potential to be developed into a lung monitoring method in newborn infants.Potential for bed-side detection of pulmonary complications in newborn infants.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
  • University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki University Children's Hospital
  • GPX Medical AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics
  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Jun 13
Publication categoryResearch