In this study, we present an empirically modified diffusion model determining hemoglobin oxygen saturation from turbid media using steady-state, broadband (500-600 nm) reflectance with source-detector separations of a few hundred micrometers. Development of this model was conducted using Monte Carlo simulations, a gold standard modeling technique for predicting the behavior of light propagation through turbid media. Hemoglobin oxygen saturation levels of 0 and 100% at different blood concentrations were studied. Nonlinear curve fitting was used to extract the hemoglobin oxygen saturation values from the reflectance spectra, producing errors of 5% between the simulated curves and the model for both saturation cases. Further validation was performed using liquid-tissue phantoms containing intralipid and blood. Curve fitting between the <i>in vitro</i> data and the model produced errors of less than 2%. This validated model was then used to extract saturation values from <i>in vivo</i> reflectance spectra of the human index finger and human brain tissues. This empirically modified diffusion model provides the possibility of extracting local hemoglobin oxygen saturation from blood-perfused turbid media using reflectance data measured with a small source-detector separation probe.

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