Evaluation of Pulse Oximetry in the Early Detection of Congenital Heart Diseases in Newborns

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

3 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Ali Ibn Abitaleb Educational and Treatment Hospital, Rafanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

4 Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran


Background: Congenital heart diseases, which are asymptomatic at birth, are the most important causes of infant mortality. This study aimed to evaluate the role of pulse oximetry in the early detection of congenital heart diseases among newborns.
Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 1230 newborns who were born in university hospitals in an urban area of Iran were placed under the pulse oximetry of right hand and right foot. The neonates with peripheral oxygen saturation (SPO2) of less than 95% in the right hand or right foot underwent pulse oximetry of the hands and feet again after two hours. Finally, the newborns with an SPO2 of less than 95% in the second stage were subjected to diagnostic echocardiography. The results were analyzed in SPSS software (version 18). Results: Out of 1230 neonates who underwent pulse oximetry, 417 newborns had an SPO2 of less than 95%, and their SPO2 was rechecked two hours later. Finally, echocardiography was performed for 32 newborns who had an SPO2 of less than 95%, of whom 24 infants were healthy and 8 infants (6 females and 2 males) had congenital heart disease. The sensitivity of the pulse oximetry to detect congenital heart disease was 100%, and its specificity was 98.04%.
Conclusion: The results of this study highlighted the high sensitivity of pulse oximetry in the diagnosis of critical congenital heart disease which can be used at birth.


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