Iatrogenic spinal cord ischemia: A patient level meta-analysis of 74 case reports and series

Anant Naik, Christina M. Moawad, Samantha L. Houser, T Kesavadas, Paul M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: We seek to characterize the features of iatrogenic spinal ischemia, determine which spinal levels are affected, and evaluate the efficacy of management strategies. Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of case reports and series of spinal ischemia in the past 10 years. 343 full-length case reports and case series were screened against predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. 89 patients were included for our final meta-analysis using PRISMA guidelines. Results: Mean age of patients was 59.62 years (range: 9 months-88 years). 66% of all cases were male. Endovascular surgery (32.6%) and aortic surgery (36.0%) were most common causes of iatrogenic injury, followed by non-aortic surgery (32.6%), and non-surgical procedures (22.47%). A- and B-level ASIA Impairment was found in 66% of all patients. Rehabilitation was the most common management (49.44% of cases), followed by blood pressure management (40.45%). Non-aortic surgeries had the poorest overall outcomes (OR = 0.28, p = 0.016), whereas aortic and endovascular surgeries saw significant improvement in outcomes measured at discharge (OR = 2.6, OR = 2.3, respectively, p < 0.05). Therapeutic surgical infarctions were found to be associated with improved outcomes (OR = 5.33, p = 0.032). Ischemic injury to T4–T7, and T10 were associated with significantly poorer outcomes. Autonomic impairment was associated with a likelihood of infarction at T10 (OR = 4.54, p = 0.0183). Conclusions: In this paper, we compare outcomes following iatrogenic spinal ischemia. We demonstrate the need for more comprehensive randomized controlled trials to test effective treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100080
JournalNorth American Spine Society Journal
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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