Low back pain (LBP) is a complex disease that can be cause by a variety of reasons. Now LBP has become a very common and severe disease among kinds of occupational groups with showing a younger trend. The traditional diagnosis relies on complicated imaging modalities and other dangerous and invasive methods. Noninvasive near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is noninvasive and convenient, and has been successful used in point-of-care diagnosis. Here, we attempt to explore NIRS’s application in in low back pain diagnosis and the effect of aid-use of Chinese cupping procedure. 13 LBP patients and 13 healthy subjects participated in NIRS measurements of concentrations of oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobins (∆[HbO<sub>2</sub>] and ∆[Hb]) at the middle of the lumbar spine. It was showed that there was significant differences (p < 0.001) between healthy subjects and LBP patients after cupping procedure, while insignificant before cupping. Moreover, it was found that healthy subjects showed stronger responses to cupping procedure than LBP patients, with prominently higher concentration of ∆[HbO<sub>2</sub>] and ∆[Hb]. It indicates the potential of NIRS in noninvasive, measurable and straightforward monitoring/therapeutic effect evaluation of LBP with bedside and point-of-care monitoring capability.
Spinal cord lesions can cause a series of severe complications, which can even lead to paralysis with high mortality. However, the traditional diagnosis of spinal cord lesion relies on complicated imaging modalities and other invasive and dangerous methods. Here, we have designed a small monitor based on NIRS technology for noninvasive monitoring for spinal cord lesions. The development of the instrument system includes the design of hardware circuits and the program of software. In terms of hardware, OPT101<sup>1</sup> is selected as the light detector, and the appropriate probe distribution structure is selected according to the simulation result of Monte Carlo Simulation. At the same time, the powerful controller is selected as our system’s central processing chip for the circuit design, and the data is transmitted by serial port to the host computer for post processing. Finally, we verify the stability and feasibility of the instrument system. It is found that the spinal signal could be obviously detected in the system, which indicates that our monitor based on NIRS technology has the potential to monitor the spinal lesion.
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) has been used to measure brain activation, which are clinically important. Monte Carlo simulation has been applied to the near infrared light propagation model in biological tissue, and has the function of predicting diffusion and brain activation. However, previous studies have rarely considered hair and hair follicles as a contributing factor. Here, we attempt to use MCVM (Monte Carlo simulation based on 3D voxelized media) to examine light transmission, absorption, fluence, spatial sensitivity distribution (SSD) and brain activation judgement in the presence or absence of the hair follicles. The data in this study is a series of high-resolution cryosectional color photograph of a standing Chinse male adult. We found that the number of photons transmitted under the scalp decreases dramatically and the photons exported to detector is also decreasing, as the density of hair follicles increases. If there is no hair follicle, the above data increase and has the maximum value. Meanwhile, the light distribution and brain activation have a stable change along with the change of hair follicles density. The findings indicated hair follicles make influence of NIRS in light distribution and brain activation judgement.