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J Neurosurg Spine. 2011 Sep;15(3):238-51. doi: 10.3171/2011.4.SPINE10543. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

Blood supply and vascular reactivity of the spinal cord under normal and pathological conditions.

Author information

1
Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Abstract

The authors present a review of spinal cord blood supply, discussing the anatomy of the vascular system and physiological aspects of blood flow regulation in normal and injured spinal cords. Unique anatomical functional properties of vessels and blood supply determine the susceptibility of the spinal cord to damage, especially ischemia. Spinal cord injury (SCI), for example, complicating thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair is associated with ischemic trauma. The rate of this devastating complication has been decreased significantly by instituting physiological methods of protection. Traumatic SCI causes complex changes in spinal cord blood flow, which are closely related to the severity of injury. Manipulating physiological parameters such as mean arterial blood pressure and intrathecal pressure may be beneficial for patients with an SCI. Studying the physiopathological processes of the spinal cord under vascular compromise remains challenging because of its central role in almost all of the body's hemodynamic and neurofunctional processes.

PMID:
21663407
DOI:
10.3171/2011.4.SPINE10543
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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