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[Anesthesia for surgery of degenerative and abnormal cervical spine].

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annales Françaises d Anesthésie et de Réanimation
0750-7658
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
12
Issue
4
Pages
385–392
Identifiers
PMID: 8273927
Source
Medline

Abstract

A feature common to all congenital or inflammatory abnormalities of the cervical spine is an actual or potential reduction in the lumen of the spinal canal. The spinal cord and nerve roots are at risk. During intubation, and positioning the patient on the table, all untoward movements of the cervical spine may lead to spinal cord compression. Abnormalities of the cervical spine carry the risk of a difficult intubation. If there is much debate as to what constitutes optimum management of the airway, there is no evidence that any one method is the best. Recognizing the possible instability and intubating with care, are probably much more important in preserving neurological function than any particular mode of intubation. During maintenance of anaesthesia, the main goal is to preserve adequate spinal cord perfusion in order to prevent further damage. Spinal cord blood flow seems to be regulated by the same factors as cerebral blood flow. Hypercapnia increases cord blood flow while hypocapnia decreases it. Therefore, normocapnia or mild hypocapnia is recommended. Induced hypotension is frequently used to decrease blood loss. However, in patients with a marginally perfused spinal cord, the reduction in blood flow may cause ischaemia of the spinal cord and may therefore be relatively contraindicated. In addition to standard intraoperative monitoring, spinal cord monitoring is almost mandatory. Monitoring somatosensory evoked potentials is used routinely. However, the major limitation is that this technique only monitors dorsal column function; theoretically, motor paralysis can occur despite a lack of change in recorded signals. Neurogenic motor evoked potentials may now be used to monitor anterior spinal cord integrity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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