Author(s): Chiesa R, Melissano G, MarroccoTrischitta MM, Civilini E, Setacci F
OBJECTIVES: Neurologic deficit after endovascular treatment of the thoracic aorta is a complication reported with variable frequency that may be associated with severe morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of spinal cord ischemia appears to be multifactorial and remains ill-defined. We reviewed our experience to investigate the determinants of paraplegia after stent-graft repair of the thoracic aorta, identify patients at risk, and assess the effectiveness of ancillary techniques.
METHODS: Over a 5-year period (June 1999 to December 2004), 103 patients underwent elective endovascular repair of the thoracic aorta at a university referral center. Indications for treatment were atherosclerotic aneurysms in 88 patients, chronic type B dissection in 10 patients, and penetrating aortic ulcer in 5 patients. Four of the 103 patients affected with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms had hybrid procedures and were excluded from the cumulative analysis. Twelve patients with zone 0 and zone 1 aortic arch aneurysms were operated on with synchronous or staged surgical aortic debranching. Preoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage was instituted in seven selected patients. Neurologic deficits were assessed by an independent neurologist and classified as immediate or delayed. Patient demographics and perioperative factors related to the endovascular procedure were evaluated by using univariate statistical analyses.
RESULTS: A primary technical success was achieved in 94 patients (94.9\%). At a mean follow-up of 34 +/- 14 months, a midterm clinical success was obtained in 90 patients (90.9\%). Four patients (4.04\%) had delayed neurologic deficit that completely resolved after the institution of CSF drainage, steroids administration, and arterial pressure pharmacologic adjustment. None of the four patients who underwent hybrid procedures for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms had paraplegia or paraparesis. Univariate analyses identified only a perioperative lowest mean arterial pressure (MAP) of <70 mm Hg as a significant risk factor (P < .0001).
CONCLUSION: Perioperative hypotension (MAP <70 mm Hg) was found to be a significant predictor of spinal cord ischemia; hence, careful monitoring and prompt correction of arterial pressure may prevent the development of paraplegia. When the latter occurred, reduction of the CSF pressure by drainage was useful. Patients with a previous or synchronous abdominal aortic repair may also benefit from CSF drainage as a perioperative adjunct.Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research