Handheld device detects intracranial bleeding

January 1, 2012

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new mobile imaging device that aids in the detection of life-threatening bleeding in the skull through near-infrared spectroscopy.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new mobile imaging device that aids in the detection of life-threatening bleeding in the skull through near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy.

The Infrascanner Model 1000 (InfraScan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) can identify intracranial hematomas in patients with critical head injuries who need an immediate brain injury study, such as in an emergency department. The noninvasive device directs an NIR wavelength of light through the skull and detects the difference in light absorption between tissue and bone and the blood that accumulates from ruptured blood vessels in the brain. The information is transmitted wirelessly to a display.

By comparing the optical density (light absorption) from scans from both sides of the skull, a clinician can quickly determine the likelihood of an intracranial hematoma and evaluate the need for other diagnostic procedures, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan.