Regional oxygen saturation of the brain during birth transition of term infants: comparison between elective cesarean and vaginal deliveries

J Pediatr. 2011 Sep;159(3):404-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.02.030. Epub 2011 Apr 9.


Objective: To evaluate differences in regional oxygen saturation of the brains of term infants of vaginal or cesarean deliveries.

Study design: Vaginal delivery (n = 63) and elective cesarean delivery infants were prospectively evaluated for the first 10 minutes after delivery. Peripheral arterial oxygen saturation (SpO(2)) and heart rate were measured on the right hand using pulsoximetry with near infrared spectroscopy. Regional oxygen saturation of the brain (rSO(2)brain) was measured. Fractional tissue oxygen extraction was calculated for each minute.

Results: From 4 to 8 minutes, SpO(2) values for cesarean delivery infants were significantly lower than for vaginally delivered infants. Heart rate of the cesarean delivery infants was significantly lower throughout the whole observation period. There was no difference between groups in rSO(2)brain. Fractional tissue oxygen extraction only differed at minute 10.

Conclusions: Although SpO(2) and heart rate were significantly lower in cesarean-delivered infants, there were no differences in rSO(2)brain with respect to mode of delivery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Oximetry
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Term Birth
  • Time Factors


  • Oxygen