Anesthesia during Positive-pressure Myelogram: A New Role for Cerebral Oximetry

Sebastian R. Gatica-Moris, Tasha L. Welch, Arnoley S. Abcejo, Carrie M. Carr, Jeffrey J. Pasternak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Positive-pressure myelogram (PPM) is an emerging radiologic study used to localize spinal dural defects. During PPM, cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFp) is increased by injecting saline with contrast into the cerebrospinal fluid. This has the potential to increase intracranial pressure and compromise cerebral perfusion. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review and analysis of 11 patients. The aim was to describe the periprocedural anesthetic management of patients undergoing PPM. Results: All patients underwent PPM with general anesthesia and intra-arterial blood pressure and near-infrared spectroscopy monitoring of regional cerebral tissue oxygen saturation. Mean±SD maximum lumbar CSFp was 58±12 mm Hg. Upon intrathecal injection, mean systolic blood pressure increased from 115±21 to 142±32 mm Hg (P<0.001), diastolic blood pressure from 68±12 to 80±20 mm Hg (P≤0.001), and mean blood pressure from 87±10 to 98±14 mm Hg (P=0.02). Ten of 11 patients received blood pressure augmentation with phenylephrine to minimize the risk of reduced cerebral perfusion secondary to increased CSFp after intrathecal injection. The mean heart rate before and following injection was similar (68±15 vs. 70±15 bpm, respectively; P=0.16). There was a decrease in regional cerebral oxygen saturation after positioning from supine to prone position (79±10% to 74±9%, P=0.02) and a further decrease upon intrathecal injection (75±10% to 69±9%, P≤0.01). Conclusions: Systemic blood pressure increased following intrathecal injection during PPM, possibly due to a physiologic response to intracranial hypertension/reduced cerebral perfusion or administration of phenylephrine. Regional cerebral oxygen saturation decreased with the change to prone position and further decreased upon intrathecal injection. Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy has a potential role to monitor the adequacy of cerebral perfusion and guide adjustment of systemic blood pressure during PPM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • cerebral oximeter
  • cerebral perfusion
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • myelogram
  • myelography
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • spontaneous intracranial hypotension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Anesthesia during Positive-pressure Myelogram: A New Role for Cerebral Oximetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this