Near infrared transmission spectroscopy of the human cerebrum may allow noninvasive evaluation of cerebral hemoglobin saturation in humans. The emerging spectroscopy configuration for this application is a side-by-side source-receiver construct. The ability of this spectroscopy paradigm to detect changes in intracerebral attenuation by selective injection of the infrared tracer indocyanine green into the internal and external carotid arteries during endarterectomy is evaluated in five adult patients. In all five, simultaneous two-channel infrared transmission spectroscopy over the ipsilateral hemisphere documented tracer bolus transit with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 100:1. In addition, the two channels could be configured to achieve depth resolution of the collected spectra.