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Prevention of spinal cord injury after cross-clamping of the thoracic aorta



Prevention of spinal cord injury after cross-clamping of the thoracic aorta



Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 28(4): 398-404



Paraplegia has been a devastating and unpredictable complication following cross-clamping of the thoracic aorta. In this study, the effect of the pressure gradient between the aortic pressure distal to occlusion and cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFP), defined as relative spinal cord perfusion pressure (RSPP), on the development of spinal cord injury was investigated. In 32 mongrel dogs, the thoracic aorta just distal to the left subclavian artery was cross-clamped. After a complete loss of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) had been confirmed, the dogs were divided into six groups by an additional cross-clamp interval and RSPP as follows: Group I (n = 6): 0 mmHg for 10 minutes; Group II (n = 8): 0 mmHg for 20 minutes; Group III (n = 3): 7.5 mmHg for 20 minutes; Group IV (n = 3): 7.5 mmHg for 40 minutes; Group V (n = 6): 15 mmHg for 40 minutes and Group VI (n = 6): 15 mmHg for 60 minutes. RSPP was adjusted by either withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid or injection of normal saline solution into the subarachnoid space. SEP were generated by the stimulation of bilateral peroneal nerves. The incidence of postoperative paraplegia was 0% in Groups I and V, 33% in Group III, 50% in Group VI and 100% in Groups II and IV. This study showed that RSPP plays an important role in the development of spinal cord injury during cross-clamping of the thoracic aorta. Therefore, RSPP should be maintained at as high a level as possible in order to prevent spinal cord injury even if SEP disappear during aortic occlusion.

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Accession: 041060800

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PMID: 3597535


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