Near-infrared spectroscopy of the adult head: effect of scattering and absorbing obstructions in the cerebrospinal fluid layer on light distribution in the tissue

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Previous modeling of near-infrared (NIR) light distribution in models of the adult head incorporating a clear nonscattering cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) layer have shown the latter to have a profound effect on the resulting photon measurement density function (PMDF). In particular, the presence of the CSF limits the PMDF largely to the outer cortical gray matter with little signal contribution from the deeper white matter. In practice, the CSF is not a simple unobstructed clear layer but contains light-scattering membranes and is crossed by various blood vessels. Using a radiosity-diffusion finite-element model, we investigated the effect on the PMDF of introducing intrusions within the clear layer. The results show that the presence of such obstructions does not significantly increase the light penetration into the brain tissue, except immediately adjacent to the obstruction and that its presence also increases the light sampling of the adjacent skull tissues, which would lead to additional contamination of the NIR spectroscopy signal by the surface tissue layers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4721-9
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2000