Nineteen mongrel dogs had 30 minutes of thoracic aortic occlusion to determine the effects that blockade of the renin-angiotensin system may have on preserving spinal cord blood flow and function during a period of temporary spinal cord ischemia. Cross-clamping of the thoracic aorta causes renal ischemia and activates the renin-angiotensin system with resulting increased production of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a potent peripheral constrictor and elevated levels may constrict collateral spinal cord circulation. At the time of aortic cross-clamping, 10 dogs received 100 mg/kg of MK422 (intravenous enalapril maleate), a converting enzyme inhibitor, and nine animals served as controls. The blockade of the renin-angiotensin system had no preserving effects on spinal cord flow as measured by microspheres and on spinal cord function as graded with the Tarlov scale. However, the paraplegic animals all had significantly increased lower thoracic and lumbar spinal cord flows 30 minutes after clamp release when compared with those animals that remained neurologically intact. In conclusion, marked hyperemia occurring after a period of hypoperfusion may lead to spinal cord edema and compartment syndrome with resulting paraplegia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine