We studied the effect of thoracic aortic occlusion and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage on regional spinal cord blood flow and its correlation with neurologic outcome. Using isotope-tagged microspheres, we determined blood flow to the gray and white matter of five regions of the spinal cord in dogs: group I (control), group II (cross-clamp only), group III (cross-clamp plus CSF drainage). At 60 minutes after thoracic aortic occlusion in group II, median gray matter blood flow (GMBF) in the lower thoracic and lumbar cord decreased from 23.1 and 27.0 ml/100 gm/min at baseline to 4.0 and 2.5 ml/100 gm/min, respectively. The addition of CSF drainage improved GMBF during aortic cross-clamping in the lower thoracic and lumbar cord to 11.3 (p < 0.05) and 15.1 ml/100 gm/min (p < 0.03), respectively. After removal of the aortic cross-clamp, median blood flow more than tripled from baseline blood flow in group II, whereas CSF drainage prevented significant reperfusion hyperemia. Both low GMBF during cross-clamping and reperfusion hyperemia were associated with a worse neurologic outcome. In group II, no dog was neurologically normal, and more than 60% of the dogs had spastic paraplegia. In contrast, almost 60% of dogs in group III were normal, and none had spastic paraplegia (p < 0.001). We conclude that CSF drainage in dogs during thoracic aortic occlusion maintained spinal cord perfusion above critical levels, diminished reperfusion hyperemia, and improved neurologic outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine