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Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2015;28(4):256-62. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-15-01-0008. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Influence of two types of self-retaining retractors on multifidus muscle blood flow during dorsolateral thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy in dogs.

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Prof. Dr. Franck Forterre, DVM, Diplomate ECVS, Universität Bern, Vetsuisse Faculty, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Laenggassstrasse 128, 3012 Bern, Switzerland, Phone: +41 31 631 23 15, Fax: +41 31 631 22 75, E-mail:



To assess the influence of the use of Gelpi and Grevel retractors on multifidus muscle blood flow during hemilaminectomy, using a dorsolateral approach, for acute disc extrusion in dogs as measured by laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI).


Blood flow in the multifidus muscles was measured intra-operatively using LSCI prior to insertion of the retractors, immediately after hemilaminectomy and removal of the retractors, and after 10 minutes of lavage of the surgical site. Plasma creatine kinase levels were measured preoperatively and 12-24 hours postoperatively.


Muscular blood flow was significantly decreased following retraction and remained lower than initial values 10 minutes after lavage in all dogs. The decrease in blood flow was significantly greater with Gelpi retractors (n = 8) than with Grevel retractors (n = 10). No significant relation was found between the duration of retraction and postoperative changes in creatine kinase levels or blood flow.


Findings in this study demonstrate a drop in blood flow within the multifidus muscles using the dorsolateral approach regardless of retractor type used. Gelpi retractors seem to have greater influence on muscular blood flow than Grevel retractors. Further studies are warranted to confirm this second finding.


Self-retaining retractors; blood flow; dog; multifidus muscle; thoracolumbar disc extrusion

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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