A pilot study of a new spectrophotometry device to measure tissue oxygen saturation

G. Abel, J. Allen, M. Drinnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue oxygen saturation (SO2) measurements have the potential for far wider use than at present but are limited by device availability and portability for many potential applications. A device based on a small, low-cost general-purpose spectrophotometer (the Harrison device) might facilitate wider use. The aim of this study was to compare the Harrison device with a commercial instrument, the LEA O2C.

Measurements were carried out on the forearm and finger of 20 healthy volunteers, using a blood pressure cuff on the upper arm to induce different levels of oxygenation. Repeatability of both devices was assessed, and the Bland–Altman method was used to assess agreement between them.

The devices showed agreement in overall tracking of changes in SO2. Test–retest agreement for the Harrison device was worse than for O2C, with SD repeatability of 10.6% (forearm) or 18.6% (finger). There was no overall bias between devices, but mean (SD) difference of 1.2 (11.8%) (forearm) or 4.4 (11.5%) (finger) were outside of a clinically acceptable range.

Disagreements were attributed to the stability of the Harrison probe and the natural SO2 variations across the skin surface increasing the random error. Therefore, though not equivalent to the LEA O2C, a probe redesign and averaged measurements may help establish the Harrison device as a low cost alternative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1780
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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