Local hypothermia in experimental spinal cord trauma.
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A series of controlled animal experiments comparing the effects of one, four, and 18 hours of local hypothermia at 6 degrees C begun four hours after compression lesions to the thoracic cord in dogs is reported. Four hours of local cooling delivered by a small silastic epidural heat exchanger, without durotomy or tissue perfusion, is shown to give greater functional benefit than cooling for one hour or 18 hours. Experimental design, pathophysiological implications, and clinical relevance are discussed.
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