Oxygen saturation measurements of blood in retinal vessels during blood loss

Matthew H. Smith, Kurt R.deiminghoff, Lloyd W. Hillman, Russell A. Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We describe a noninvasive technique and instrumentation for measuring the oxygen saturation of blood in retinal arteries and veins. The measurements are made by shining low-power lasers into the eye, and scanning the beams across a retinal blood vessel. The light reflected and scattered back out of the eye is collected and measured. The oxygen saturation of blood within the vessel is determined by analyzing the vessel absorption profiles at two wavelengths. A complete saturation measurement can be made in less than 1 s, allowing real-time measurement during physiologic changes. The sensitivity of this measurement technique to changes in retinal saturation has been demonstrated through a series of pilot studies in anesthetized swine. We present data indicating that retinal venous oxygen saturation decreases during ongoing blood loss, demonstrating a potential application of an eye oximeter to noninvasively monitor blood loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Blood loss
  • Eye
  • Noninvasive monitoring
  • Oximetry
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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