Reversal of paraparesis after thoracic aneurysm repair by cerebrospinal fluid drainage
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PURPOSE: To describe a case of reversal of delayed paraparesis, after an elective type I thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair, via cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage. CLINICAL FEATURES: A 75-yr-old woman developed paraparesis 13 hr after type I TAAA repair. The patient had been given combined regional and general anesthesia. There was no cerebrospinal fluid drain inserted at the time of surgery. The patient was hemodynamically stable throughout the procedure and was transported to the intensive care unit with trachea intubated and lungs ventilated. She demonstrated some initial lower limb paraparesis but had good recovery of limb function three hours after cessation of the epidural infusion. However, five hours and forty-five minutes after stopping the epidural, she was again paraparetic. Peripheral nerve injury, prolonged effects of epidural local anesthetic, and epidural hematoma were ruled out as precipitating factors. Cord ischemia was considered possible and a CSF catheter was inserted. Immediate improvement was seen upon catheter insertion and commencement of drainage, beginning with movement in the left toes and foot. Drainage was performed when the CFS pressure became > 15 mmHg. Motor function in the lower limbs continued to improve with each drainage extending to complete recovery after 40 hr. She was discharged home 11 days after surgery with no neurological deficit. CONCLUSION: Drainage of CSF was useful in treating a case of post-TAAA neurologic deficit.
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