Fetal transabdominal pulse oximeter studies using a hypoxic sheep model

Shoko Nioka, Meltem Izzetoglu, Theresa Mawn, Michael J. Nijland, David Boas, Britton Chance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective. This study investigates the validity of transabdominal pulse oximetry using a sheep fetal hypoxia model with fetal arterial hemoglobin saturation. Methods. Four pregnant ewes were anaesthetized and cannulated through the brachial artery to measure direct arterial blood saturation, SaO2. Next, the transabdominal pulse oximeter was used to measure indirect measurement of the arterial saturation of the fetus, SpO2, from the maternal abdomen. Hypoxia was induced by a balloon placed in the maternal aorta. Results. There is a linear relationship between SaO2, arterial blood saturation values of the fetus, and SpO2, the values measured by the transabdominal pulse oximetry with a slope of 0.75 (r 2 = 0.76). Conclusion. This information can be used to calibrate the transabdominal pulse oximeter as a measurement of fetal arterial saturation. With these results, we can advance the accurate, no-risk, noninvasive transabdominal fetal pulse oximeter for human use. This research may contribute to the more accurate diagnosis of the diseases of the fetus including Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-399
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetus
  • Hypoxia
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Sheep
  • Transabdominal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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