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Proceedings Paper

Do radio frequencies of medical instruments common in the operating room interfere with near-infrared spectroscopy signals?
Author(s): Babak Shadgan; Behnam Molavi; W. Darlene Reid; Guy Dumont; Andrew J. Macnab
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Paper Abstract

Background: Medical and diagnostic applications of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are increasing, especially in operating rooms (OR). Since NIRS is an optical technique, radio frequency (RF) interference from other instruments is unlikely to affect the raw optical data, however, NIRS data processing and signal output could be affected. Methods: We investigated the potential for three common OR instruments: an electrical cautery, an orthopaedic drill and an imaging system, to generate electromagnetic interference (EMI) that could potentially influence NIRS signals. The time of onset and duration of every operation of each device was recorded during surgery. To remove the effects of slow changing physiological variables, we first used a lowpass filter and then selected 2 windows with variable lengths around the moment of device onset. For each instant, variances (energy) and means of the signals in the 2 windows were compared. Results: Twenty patients were studied during ankle surgery. Analysis shows no statistically significant difference in the means and variance of the NIRS signals (p < 0.01) during operation of any of the three devices for all surgeries. Conclusion: This method confirms the instruments evaluated caused no significant interference. NIRS can potentially be used without EMI in clinical environments such as the OR.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7555, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VIII, 755512 (23 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.842712
Show Author Affiliations
Babak Shadgan, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (Canada)
Division of Orthopaedic Trauma (Canada)
Behnam Molavi, The Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
W. Darlene Reid, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (Canada)
Guy Dumont, The Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Andrew J. Macnab, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Wallenberg Research Ctr. (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7555:
Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VIII
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Warren S. Grundfest; Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Editor(s)

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