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Masimo Perfusion Index Predicts Low Systemic Blood Flow In Preterm Infants

Study provides method for early intervention and treatment of cardiovascular compromise

Masimo has reported that new research findings, published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Perinatology, show that Masimo perfusion index (PI) accurately predicts low superior vena cava flow (SVC) in preterm, very-low-birth-weight infants representing a promising method for continuous and noninvasive monitoring of systemic blood flow.

Masimo PI provides a continuous, noninvasive measure of the ratio of pulsatile blood flow to the non-pulsatile or static blood in peripheral tissue, which provides a rapid, reliable, and cost-effective method to help clinicians assess perfusion and circulatory status, said the company.

According to the company, in the study, Dr. Takahashi and colleagues at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo, Japan, used the Masimo Radical pulse oximeter and Masimo LNOP NeoPt-L sensor to monitor PI in 24 preterm infants during the first 72-hours following birth. When comparing PI to echocardiography to directly measure SVC, they found that a PI of <0.44 detected low SVC flow with good sensitivity (88%) and specificity (86%).

A total of eight out of 24 infants were confirmed to have low SVC flow, and PI positively detecting seven leading researchers to conclude that Masimo PI is a ‘useful index for detecting low SVC flow in very low birth weight infants born before 32 weeks of gestation’ and ‘the PI should be evaluated in the cardiovascular management of preterm infants,’ said the company.

Michael O’Reilly, executive vice president of Medical Affairs at Masimo, said: “The current study provides additional evidence supporting the clinical utility of Masimo PI, a reliable noninvasive measure of perfusion. Previous work demonstrated the value of Masimo PI as an early indicator of clinical deterioration in neonates and life-threatening congenital heart disease.

“Masimo PI has also been shown highly effective in assessing the response to painful stimuli and the proper placement of epidural and regional anesthesia. These results reinforce the value of Masimo PI to routinely assess circulatory disorders and improve detection and treatment of life-threatening conditions.”