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Barrios C.,University of Valencia | Piza-Vallespir G.,Hospital Son Espases | Burgos J.,Hospital Ramon y Cajal | De Blas G.,Hospital Ramon y Cajal | And 4 more authors.
Spine Journal | Year: 2014

Background context The correction of severe spinal deformities by an isolated posterior approach often involves cord manipulation together with hypotensive anesthesia. To date, the efficiency of methods to increase the tolerance of the cord to displacement and the influence of hypotension on this tolerance is yet to be assessed. Purpose The objective of this study was to determine the limits of cord displacement before the disappearance of neurophysiologic signals. The influence of the type of force applied, the section of the roots, and the induced hypotension on the cord's tolerance to displacement was also assessed. Study design Experimental study using a domestic pig model. Outcome measures Successive records of cord-to-cord motor evoked potentials were obtained during displacement maneuvers. Displacing forces were released immediately after the absence of neurophysiologic signals. Methods Surgical procedures were performed under conventional general anesthesia. The spinal cord and nerve roots from T6 to T10 levels were exposed by excision of the posterior elements, allowing for free cord movement. Three groups were established according to the method of spinal cord displacement: the separation (Group 1, n=5), the root stump pull (Group 2, n=5), and the torsion groups (Group 3, n=5). An electromechanical external device was used to apply the displacing forces. The three displacement tests were repeated after sectioning the adjacent nerve roots. The experiments were first carried out under normotension and afterward under induced hypotension. Results In Group 1, evoked potential disappeared with a displacement of 10.1±1.6 mm with unharmed roots and 15.3±4.7 mm after the sectioning of four adjacent roots (p<.01). After induced hypotension, potentials were lost at 4.0±1.2 mm (p<.01). In Group 2, the absence of potentials occurred at 20.0±4.3 mm and increased to 23.5±2.1 mm (p<.05) after cutting the two contralateral roots. Under hypotensive conditions, the loss of neurophysiologic signals was detected at 5.3±1.2 mm (p<.01). In Group 3, the cord allowed torsion of 95.3±.2° that increased to 112.4±7.1° if the contralateral roots were cut. Under hypotension, the loss of potentials was found at 20±6.2° (p<.01). Conclusions In this experimental model, it was possible to displace the thoracic spinal cord by a distance superior to the spinal cord width without suffering neurophysiologic changes. The limits of cord displacement increase when the adjacent nerve roots are sacrificed. Induced hypotension had a dramatic effect on the tolerance of the spinal cord for displacement. This work has an important clinical significance because induced hypotension during specific spine surgery procedures requiring spinal cord manipulation in humans may increase the risk of neurologic spinal cord injury. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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