Cerebrospinal fluid drainage and induced hypertension improve spinal cord perfusion after acute spinal cord injury in pigs

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BACKGROUND: Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is commonly treated by elevating the mean arterial pressure (MAP). Other potential interventions include cerebrospinal fluid drainage (CSFD). OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of aggressive MAP elevation combined with intrathecal pressure (ITP) reduction; our primary objective was to improve spinal cord blood flow (SCBF) after SCI. METHODS: All 15 pigs underwent laminectomy. Study groups included control (n = 3); SCI only (n = 3); SCI combined with MAP elevation (SCI + MAP) (n = 3); SCI combined with CSFD (SCI + CSFD) (n = 3); and SCI combined with both MAP elevation and CSFD (SCI + MAP + CSFD) (n = 3). SCBF was measured with laser Doppler flowmetry. RESULTS: In the SCI group, SCBF decreased by 56% after SCI. MAP elevation after SCI resulted in a 34% decrease in SCBF, whereas CSFD resulted in a 59% decrease in SCBF. The combination of CSFD and MAP elevation resulted in a 24% increase in SCBF. The SCI + MAP group had an average ITP increase of 5.45 mm Hg after MAP elevation 1 hour after SCI and remained at that level throughout the experiment. CONCLUSION: Both MAP elevation alone and CSFD alone led to only short-term improvement of SCBF. The combination of MAP elevation and CSFD significantly and sustainably improved SCBF and spinal cord perfusion pressure. Although laser Doppler flowmetry can provide flow measurements to a tissue depth of only 1.5 mm, these results may represent pattern of blood flow changes in the entire spinal cord after injury.

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Disease Models, Animal; Hemodynamics (physiology); Hypertension; Laser-Doppler Flowmetry; Male; Spinal Cord (blood supply); Spinal Cord Injuries (cerebrospinal fluid, physiopathology); Sus scrofa; Swine

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8; discussion 468

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