The use of a vascular occlusion test combined with near-infrared spectroscopy in perioperative care: a systematic review

C. K. Niezen*, D. Massari, J. J. Vos, T. W. L. Scheeren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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In the perioperative phase oxygen delivery and consumption can be influenced by different factors, i.e. type of surgery, anesthetic and cardiovascular drugs, or fluids. By combining near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) monitoring of regional tissue oxygen saturation (StO(2)) with an ischemic provocation test, the vascular occlusion test (VOT), local tissue oxygen consumption and vascular reactivity at the microcirculatory level can be assessed. This systematic review aims to give an overview of the clinical information that VOT-derived NIRS values can provide in the perioperative period. After performing a systematic literature search, we included 29 articles. It was not possible to perform a meta-analysis because of the lack of comparable data and the observational nature of the majority of the included articles. We have clustered the found articles in two groups: non-cardiac surgery and cardiac surgery. We found that VOT-derived NIRS values show a wide variability and are influenced by the effects of anesthetics, cardiovascular drugs, fluids, and by the type of surgery. Additionally, deviations in VOT-derived NIRS values are also associated with adverse patients' outcomes, such as postoperative complications, prolonged mechanical ventilation and prolonged hospital length of stay. However, given the variability in VOT-derived NIRS values, clinical applicability remains elusive. Future clinical interventional trials might provide additional insight into the potential of VOT associated with NIRS to optimize perioperative care by targeting specific interventions to optimize the function of the microvasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Publication statusPublished - 4-Jan-2022


  • Vascular occlusion test
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Tissue oxygen consumption
  • Vascular reactivity

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