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Double-level cauda equina compression: an experimental study with continuous monitoring of intraneural blood flow in the porcine cauda equina



Double-level cauda equina compression: an experimental study with continuous monitoring of intraneural blood flow in the porcine cauda equina



Journal of Orthopaedic Research 11(1): 104-109



Compression of the spinal nerve roots may occur clinically at multiple levels at the same time; however, the basic pathophysiology of multi-level compression is largely unknown. In this study, the intraneural blood flow was analyzed continuously in the uncompressed segment between two compression balloons, with a pig used as an experimental model and a thermal diffusion method. At 10 mm Hg compression, there was a 64% reduction of total blood flow in the uncompressed segment compared with pre-compression values. Total ischemia occurred at pressures 10-20 mm Hg below the mean arterial blood pressure. After two-level compression at 200 mm Hg for 10 min, there was a gradual recovery of the intraneural blood flow towards the baseline. Recovery was less rapid and less complete after 2 h of compression. Double-level compression of the cauda equina can thus induce impairment of blood flow, not only at the compression sites, but also in the intermediate nerve segments located between two compression sites, even at very low pressures. These findings may have clinical importance in the understanding of the pathophysiology of multiple-level cauda equina compression.

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Accession: 008502371

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8423512

DOI: 10.1002/jor.1100110112


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