Effects of local hypothermia and of steroids upon recovery from experimental spinal cord compression injury.
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Canine spinal cords were compressed by a cylindrical balloon placed in the T-13 epidural space and maintained at 160 mm Hg for one hour. Fifteen minutes after deflation, either local hypothermia or parenteral dexamethasone therapy was initiated. Local hypothermia (dorsal dura mater at 6 degrees C for four hours) was achieved with a miniature epidural heat exchanger which kept cooling fluid isolated from tissue. At seven weeks, the treated groups achieved motor ratings which were significantly superior to those of the untreated group. The untreated group were unable to walk, while both treated groups were able to do so.
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