Intrathecal lactate as a predictor of early- but not late-onset spinal cord injury in thoracoabdominal aneurysmectomy

Alberto Zangrillo, Luca Buratti, Andrea Carozzo, Giuseppina Casiraghi, Giovanni Landoni, Rosalba Lembo, Laura Pasin, Enrico Maria Marone, Germano Melissano, Roberto Chiesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate the role of intrathecal lactate as an early predictor of spinal cord injury during thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysmectomy. Design Observational study. Setting University hospital. Participants Forty-four consecutive patients scheduled to undergo thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysmectomy. Two patients had a type-B dissecting aneurysm while the other 42 patients suffered from degenerative aneurysm. Interventions None. Methods During surgery, samples of cerebrospinal fluid and arterial blood were withdrawn simultaneously to evaluate lactate concentration. Samples were collected at 4 fixed times during and after surgery: T1 (beginning of the intervention), T2 (15 minutes after aortic cross-clamping), T3 (just before unclamping), T4 (end of surgery). Measurements and Main Results Mean lactate levels in cerebrospinal fluid rose consistently and steadily from the beginning of the intervention until after surgery (T1 = 1.83 mmol/L), T2 = 2.10 mmol/L, T3 = 2.72 mmol/L, T4 = 3.70 mmol/L). Seven patients developed spinal cord injury; two of them had delayed injury occurring 24 hours after the end of surgery; the remaining 5 had early onset. In this group of 5 patients, preoperative cerebrospinal fluid lactate levels were significantly (p = 0.04) higher than those of the other 37 patients preoperatively (2.12 ± 0.35 v 1.79 ± 0.29 mmol/L). Conclusions Preoperative cerebrospinal lactate concentration is elevated in patients who will develop early-onset spinal cord injury after thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysmectomy. This may allow a better stratification of these patients, suggesting a more aggressive strategy of spinal cord function preservation, such as systematic reimplanting of intercostal arteries, and possibly obtaining a better outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • aortic aneurysm
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • lactic acid
  • paraplegia
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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