Paraplegia is a major complication associated with repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA). A number of therapies have been tried over the years, none of which has been successful. Recently, regional lumbar epidural cooling has been tried in an attempt to prolong the safe ischemic time during aortic cross-clamping. In approximately 90 patients in whom the authors have tried this technique, there was no decrease in the incidence of paraplegia in patients with type II TAAAs. This is perhaps not unanticipated because the paraplegia is related to a number of factors including the duration of the aortic cross-clamping, the adequacy of collateral circulation, embolization during the procedure, and perhaps thrombosis in situ. Given the multimodal cause of paraplegia, perhaps it is naive to think that a single therapy would be of benefit. Additional studies are necessary to explore the mechanisms and to prove efficacy or lack of benefit of any techniques designed to decrease the incidence of paraplegia in patients undergoing TAAA repair.
|Number of pages
|Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
|Published - Jan 1 1999
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine