The risk of paraplegia associated with thoracic aortic cross-clamping is high even when various methods of spinal cord protection are used. In this study prostacyclin 12 (PGI 2 ) was selected as an agent to reduce the spinal cord injury because of its vasodilator, antiaggregant, and cytoprotective properties. Twelve dogs underwent sixty-minute aortic occlusion. Six dogs received PGI 2 whereas the other 6 did not (controls). PG1 2 administration was started at a rate of 5 ng/kg/minute five minutes before aortic occlusion. This dosage was increased to 25 ng/kg/minute during aortic occlusion. PGI 2 at a dosage of 5 ng/kg/minute was maintained for a period of five minutes after the aortic occlusion was released. Three dogs in the control group were paraplegic. There were no paraplegic dogs in the PGI 2 group. Distal aortic perfusion pressure was 31 \xB1 mmHg in the PGI 2 group and 22 \xB13 in the control group (P <0.008). As a result of this study the authors conclude that PGI 2 is a valuable agent for decreasing the risk of spinal cord injury during thoracic aortic cross-clamping lasting sixty minutes.
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