Use of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to Monitor Lower Extremity Perfusion in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Cardiac Catheterization

Carrie E. Herbert, Jenny Leshko, Dawn Morelli, Ernest Amankwah, Jade Hanson, Gary E. Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute femoral artery occlusion is common in pediatric patients following cardiac catheterization. A variety of means are utilized to assess lower extremity (LE) perfusion and arterial patency following cardiac catheterization including palpation of pulses, pulse oximetry, subjective assessment of lower extremity color and temperature, and ultrasound. We sought to evaluate the utility of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to monitor LE perfusion in pediatric patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. INVOS pediatric sensors were placed on bilateral LE in all pediatric patients ≤ 40 kg undergoing cardiac catheterization. Data were recorded continuously from the start of the procedure until 4–6 h after completion of the procedure. NIRS readings were compared between the accessed versus non-accessed LE at baseline before start of case, time of vascular access, arterial sheath exchange when applicable, sheath withdrawal, and Safeguard application, deflation, and removal. 133 patients underwent 152 catheterizations with mean age 2.4 ± 2.3 years and mean weight 12.4 ± 13.2 kg. NIRS oximetry readings were significantly decreased in the LE with arterial access compared to non-accessed LE from time of sheath insertion until removal of the pressure assist device post procedure. A greater difference was noted in smaller patients. NIRS oximetry readings did not correlate with subjective assessment of lower extremity perfusion after arterial sheaths were removed. One patient had pulse loss 4 h post procedure with a decrease in oximetry readings noted at this point on review. Weight-based heparin protocol was initiated, and a gradual improvement in oximetry readings was noted over the next 5 h. Vascular ultrasound 12 h later showed no evidence of arterial thrombus. NIRS may be helpful in identifying patients who are risk for developing arterial thrombus post cardiac catheterization and for monitoring response to therapy; however, further study in these patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1529
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Lower extremity
  • Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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