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

Document Type: Original Article


Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences


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 in newborns.
Materials and 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. For an SPO2 of less than 95% in the right hand or right foot, pulse oximetry of the hands and feet were performed again after two hours and, finally, the newborns with an SPO2 of less than 95% in the second stage underwent diagnostic echocardiography. The results were analyzed using version 18 of the SPSS software.
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 girls and 2 boys) had a congenital heart disease. Sensitivity of the pulse oximetry to detect congenital heart disease was 100%, and its specificity was 98.04%.
Conclusion: The results of this study points to high sensitivity of pulse oximetry in the diagnosis of critical congenital heart disease, which can be used at birth.