Complex aortic repair (CAR) carries high rates of debilitating postoperative complications, including spinal cord injury. The rate of spinal cord deficits post-CAR is approximately 10%, with permanent paraplegia in 2.9% and paraparesis in 2.4% of patients. Treatment options are limited. Rescue therapies include optimization of spinal cord perfusion and oxygen delivery by mean arterial pressure augmentation (> 90 mm Hg), cerebrospinal fluid drainage, and preservation of adequate haemoglobin concentration (> 100 g L?). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been described in several case reports as part of the multimodal treatment for spinal cord ischemia. HBOT has been used in our centre as adjunct rescue treatment for patients with spinal cord injury post-CAR that were refractory to traditional medical management, and we aimed to retrospectively review these cases. After Research Ethics Board approval, we performed a retrospective review of all post-CAR patients who developed spinal cord injury with severe motor deficit and were treated with HBOT at our institution since 2013. Seven patients with spinal cord injury after CAR were treated with HBOT in addition to traditional rescue therapies. Five patients showed varying degrees of recovery, with two displaying full recovery. One developed oxygen-induced seizure, medically treated. No other HBOT-related complications were noted. Our retrospective study shows a potential benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on neurological outcome in patients who developed spinal cord injury after CAR. Prospective research is needed to understand the role, efficacy, benefits and risks of HBOT in this setting.
Parotto, Ouzounian, Fedorko, Oreopoulos, Lindsay, Katznelson (2018). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for spinal cord ischaemia after complex aortic repair – a retrospective review. Anaesthesiology intensive therapy, 2018 ;50(2):103-109. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29882580