The efficacy of noninvasive hemoglobin measurement by pulse CO-oximetry in neonates

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Jan;14(1):70-3. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e318260117d.


Objective: To evaluate clinical applicability of noninvasive hemoglobin (Hb) measurement with a pulse CO-oximeter in neonates.

Design: Prospective comparison study.

Setting: Neonatal ICU.

Patients: Fifty-six preterm and term infants with median age = 20 days (range = 1-98 days) and median weight = 1,440 g (range = 530-4,230 g).

Interventions: Hb measurements by Pulse CO-Oximetry (Masimo Radical-7) were recorded immediately prior to venous samplings.

Measurements and main results: The collected data were compared with the corresponding venous Hb level obtained in laboratory testing, and a total of 137 data pairs were analyzed. Noninvasive Hb values measured with a pulse CO-oximeter were significantly correlated with the venous Hb levels (correlation coefficient, r = 0.758; p < 0.001). Hb values measured with a pulse CO-oximeter were higher than those measured with a laboratory hematology analyzer (13.3 ± 2.6g/dL vs. 12.5 ± 3.1g/dL). In terms of the agreement between the laboratory analyzer and the pulse CO-oximeter, 94.8% of the measurements fell within two standard deviations of the mean difference.

Conclusion: Noninvasive Hb measurements with Pulse CO-Oximetry provide clinically acceptable accuracy, and they were significantly correlated with laboratory Hb measurement in neonates. In terms of the clinical applicability, noninvasive Hb monitoring with a pulse CO-oximeter could be useful in the early detection of Hb changes in neonates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemoglobinometry / methods
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Oximetry*
  • Phlebotomy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Hemoglobins