Experimental two-stage simulated repair of extensive thoracoabdominal aneurysms reduces paraplegia risk

Stefano Zoli, Christian D. Etz, Fabian Roder, Robert M. Brenner, Carol A. Bodian, George Kleinman, Gabriele Di Luozzo, Randall B. Griepp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In a pig model, we compared spinal cord injury after extensive segmental artery (SA) sacrifice in a single stage with recovery after a two-stage procedure: lumbar artery followed by thoracic SA sacrifice. Methods: Twenty juvenile Yorkshire pigs were randomly assigned to undergo extensive SA sacrifice at 32°C in a single operation (group 1, n = 10), or thoracic SA ligation 7 days after lumbar artery sacrifice (group 2, n = 10). Spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) was monitored using a catheter placed in the distal stump of L1. Hind limb function was evaluated intraoperatively using motor-evoked potentials and for 5 days postoperatively using a modified Tarlov score. Results: Motor-evoked potentials were intact in all pigs until 1 hour after surgery. All pigs in group 2 fully recovered hind limb function, whereas 40% in group 1 experienced paraplegia (median Tarlov scores 9 versus 7; p = 0.004). Group 1 SCPP fell to 28 ± 6 mm Hg after SA sacrifice, compared with 44 ± 8 mm Hg in group 2 (p <0.0001). After sacrifice of all residual SAs, SCPP in group 2 remained consistently greater than 85% of baseline, significantly higher than group 1 SCPP from end clamping until 72 hours (p = 0.0002). Histopathologic analysis showed more severe ischemic damage to the lower thoracic (p <0.001) and lumbar spinal cord (p = 0.01) in group 1. Conclusions: In contrast with the single-stage approach, a two-stage procedure, starting with ligation of six or fewer lumbar SAs, leads to only a mild drop in SCPP and stimulates vascular remodeling, minimizing the impact of subsequent SA sacrifice on spinal cord function. The greater safety of extensive SA sacrifice when undertaken in two stages has important implications for endovascular and hybrid aneurysm repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-729
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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