The necessicity to localize the anterior spinal arteries before anterior approach of the spine stays controversial by orthopaedic surgeons. On the other hand the surgical treatment of thoracoabdominal aneurisms routinely sacrifices many segmental arteries pairs without spinal arteries localization. This, associated with spinal cord protection, results to few neurological complication. However, during vertebrectomies, the roots ligation completely interrupts the spinal cord blood supply at this level. In our experience the spinal arteries localization was systematically done before ninety-eight spine resections. In five cases an anterior radiculomedullary artery was ligated (four anterior radiculomedullary and one great anterior radiculomedullary arteries) without neurological complication, in two cases of extended resection (more than four levels) a neurological complication occurred. No spinal artery was identified at the resection level and the neurological complications were resolutive and did not seem related to definitive vascular problem. These accomplishments lead to discuss the importance of spinal arteries localization and preservation in this surgery. The discovery of an anterior radiculomedullary artery is not a contraindication to en-bloc vertebrectomy at this level, nevertheless in the case of great anterior radiculomedullary artery (Adamkiewicz) the surgical indication must be seriously debated. In fact, this case and those where multilevel resections (more than three levels) are indicated seem the most dangerous situations and the use of the different means of spinal cord protection could be indicated to decrease neurological risk. So before spine resection the spinal arteries localization could improve patient information and give more deciding factors for planning treatment.
- Primary spine tumors, Preoperative spinal cord angiography vertebrectomy
- Spinal cord vascularization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging