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We hypothesize that combining quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with established invasive techniques will enable advanced insights into renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in small animal models. We developed a NIRS technique to monitor absolute values of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin within the renal cortex of rats. This NIRS technique was combined with invasive methods to simultaneously record renal tissue oxygen tension and perfusion. The results of test procedures including occlusions of the aorta or the renal vein, hyperoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia demonstrated that the combined approach, by providing different but complementary information, enables a more comprehensive characterization of renal hemodynamics and oxygenation.