The study examines how blood pressure can contribute to improved spinal cord surgery outcomes. When too high or too low, a patient’s blood pressure can cause additional stress to the spinal tissue, increasing the number of neurons that die. The researchers hypothesize that by providing better blood pressure management, keeping it within a target range, results of the surgery can be more predictably positive. The researchers looked at 118 patients who underwent surgery following spinal cord injuries, and they were graded based on a range between A and E, where A was no movement below where their spine was injured and E being normal movement activities. Of the participants, 42 experienced at least one full grade improvement after the surgery. If a patient had high or low blood pressure, their recovery, particularly in terms of mobility, was generally poorer.
The study found that the blood pressure of the patient should be maintained at 76 and 104 to 117 mm HG at the time of the surgery, a range that is less than current recommendations. Another study is planned to verify the upper limit established by the first study. The goal is to improve the odds of recovering more mobility for patients who suffered the most traumatizing spinal injuries. It could mean the difference between a patient requiring constant assistance for the rest of their lives to the patient being able to do some activities on their own.
If you are interested in learning more about the details of the study, you can read the full article at Blood Pressure During Surgery May Be Crucial after Spinal Cord Injury