Despite improved survival rates after thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs, paraplegia remains a devastating complication with high incidence, ranging from 3 to 10%. Ischemic insults to the spinal cord are unavoidable during thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs. There is no single measure that can prevent paraplegia alone. A multimodality approach is required to minimize the ischemic insults during thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs and postoperative second hit to the spinal cord. Distal aortic perfusion is important to maintain the collateral network perfusion pressure, while cerebrospinal drainage allows to directly maintain the spinal cord perfusion. Reattachment of segmental arteries T8–T12 is encouraged to lower the incidence of both immediate and delayed paraplegia. Systemic arterial pressure should be maintained above 130 mmHg and cerebrospinal drainage should be continued until the second postoperative day, despite intact neurological status. In this article, we describe our current operative techniques and perioperative management in patients undergoing repairs of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. A review of recent updates on spinal protection strategies is also reported.
General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 4, 2018
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