OBJECTIVES: Spinal cord deficits are devastating complications after surgery for thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. We developed a regional spinal cord cooling system using an epidural catheter containing cold saline within an isolated counter-current lumen to prevent such complications and reviewed the clinical results. METHODS: We enrolled 37 patients with thoracic (n = 13) and thoracoabdominal (n = 24) aortic aneurysms that were repaired using the regional spinal cord cooling system under mild hypothermia with a partial femoro-femoral bypass. RESULTS: Although 2 patients died before hospital discharge (hospital mortality, 5.4%), none developed neurological deficits such as paraplegia or paraparesis. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes of surgery for thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms under regional spinal cord hypothermia using a custom-designed epidural catheter were excellent. Although our patient cohort was small, the results indicate that our technique might help to improve the outcomes of thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic repair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas