Near-infrared spectroscopy: what can it tell us about oxygen saturation in skeletal muscle?

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2000 Jul;28(3):123-7.


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measures hemoglobin saturation in small vessels. A number of interesting studies have used this method. However, difficulties with signal quantification and studies in which NIRS oxygen saturation did not behave as expected raise concerns. NIRS remains promising for studies of skeletal muscle, but a better understanding of the method is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*


  • Oxygen