Measuring the collateral network pressure to minimize paraplegia risk in thoracoabdominal aneurysm resection

Christian D. Etz, Stefano Zoli, Moritz S. Bischoff, Carol Bodian, Gabriele Di Luozzo, Randall B. Griepp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: To minimize paraplegia during thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair, the concept of the collateral network was developed. That is, spinal cord perfusion is provided by an interconnecting complex of vessels in the intraspinal, paraspinous, and epidural space and in the paravertebral muscles, including intercostal and lumbar segmental as well as subclavian and hypogastric arteries. Methods: Collateral network pressure was measured with a catheter in the distal end of a ligated segmental artery in pigs and human beings. Results: In the pig, collateral network pressure was 75% of the simultaneous mean aortic pressure. With complete segmental arterial ligation, it fell to 27% of baseline, recovering to 40% at 24 hours and 90% at 120 hours. Spinal cord injury occurred in approximately 50% of animals. When all segmental arteries were taken in 2 stages a week apart, collateral network pressure fell only to 50% to 70% of baseline, and spinal cord injury was rare. In human beings, baseline collateral network pressure also was 75% of mean aortic pressure, fell in proportion to the number of segmental arteries ligated, and began recovery within 24 hours. Collateral network pressure was lower with nonpulsatile distal bypass than with pulsatile perfusion. Conclusions: After subtraction of a measure of spinal cord outflow pressure (cerebrospinal fluid pressure or central venous pressure), collateral network pressure provides a clinically useful estimate of spinal cord perfusion pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S125-S130
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 2010


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