Cardio-centric hemodynamic management improves spinal cord oxygenation and mitigates hemorrhage in acute spinal cord injury

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. M. WilliamsChristopher R West


Chronic high-thoracic and cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) results in a complex phenotype of cardiovascular consequences, including impaired left-ventricular contractility. Here, we sought to determine whether such dysfunction manifests immediately post-injury, and if so, whether correcting impaired contractility can improve spinal cord oxygenation (SCO2), blood flow (SCBF) and metabolism. Using a porcine model of SCI, we demonstrate that high-thoracic SCI acutely impairs cardiac contractility and causes substantial reductions in intraparenchymal SCO2 and SCBF within the first hours post-injury. Utilizing the same model, we next show that treating the reduced contractile function with the {beta}-agonist dobutamine is more efficacious at increasing SCO2 and SCBF than the current clinical standard of vasopressor therapy, whilst also mitigating increased anaerobic metabolism and hemorrhage in the injured cord. Our data provide compelling evidence that cardio-centric hemodynamic management represents a novel and advantageous alternative to the current clinical standard of vasopressor therapy for acute traumatic SCI.

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