Routine anterior spinal artery visualization prior to descending and thoracoabdominal aneurysm repair: High detection success.

J Card Surg 2019 Dec 9;34(12):1563-1568. Epub 2019 Nov 9.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Background: Paraplegia is adevastating complication of open descending (DTAA) and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair. Despite major advances in imaging and surgical techniques, paraplegia continues to be problematic. We present our experience with routine application of enhanced imaging techniques to detect the anterior spinal artery (ASA) before DTAA and TAAA repair.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 177 patients with DTAA and TAAA who underwent imaging to detect the ASA before open surgical repair. High definition CT angiography (CTA) and dual energy CT scanning (DECT) were our modalities of choice with angiography used earlier and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) used when CT was contraindicated. Descriptive statistics and χ analyses were conducted.

Results: The imaging protocol successfully detected the level of the ASA in 132 (74.5%) patients, utilizing CTA in 67, DECT in 28, spinal angiography in 31, and MRA in 6. Cross sectional modalities with advanced visualization technique (CT, DECT, and MRA) were more successful at detecting the ASA than angiography (80.72%, 82.35%, 75% vs 59.62%, respectively, P = .04). Concerted efforts were made not to leave the operating room without continuity of the ASA with the circulation (via limited resection, beveled anastomosis, or reimplantation). Transient lower extremity weakness was observed in 11 (6.2%) patients, and permanent paraplegia in 2 (1.12%) patients.

Conclusion: Modern imaging technology provides multiple methodologies highly successful at detecting the ASA. The ASA can then be preserved intraoperatively, contributing to low paraplegia rates. We strongly recommend routine application of this technology to arm the surgeon with precise information about the specific patient's spinal cord blood supply.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocs.14310DOI Listing
December 2019
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm
Frederick JR et al.
Ann Cardiothorac Surg 2012

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