Spinal cord injury after open and endovascular repair of descending thoracic aneurysm and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a rare but severe complication after open or endovascular repair of descending thoracic aneurysms (DTAs) or thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). This meta-analysis aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of SCI rates and factors associated with SCI.
Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in September 2022 looking for studies on open and/or endovascular repair of DTA and/or TAAA published after 2018, to update the results of our previously published meta-analysis. The primary outcome was permanent SCI. Secondary outcomes were temporary SCI, 30-day and in-hospital mortality, follow-up mortality, postoperative stroke, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drain-related complications. Data were pooled as proportions using inverse-variance weighting.
Results: A total of 239 studies (71 new studies and 168 from our previous meta-analysis) and 61,962 patients were included. The overall pooled rate of permanent SCI was 3.3% [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.9–3.8%]. Open repair was associated with a permanent SCI rate of 4.0% (95% CI, 3.3–4.8%), and endovascular repair was associated with a permanent SCI rate of 2.9% (95% CI, 2.4–3.5%). Permanent SCI was 2.0% (95% CI, 1.2–3.3%) after DTA repair, and 4.7% (95% CI, 3.9–5.6%) after TAAA repair; permanent SCI rate was 3.8% (95% CI, 2.9–5.0%) for Crawford extent I, 13.4% (95% CI, 9.0–19.5%) for extent II, 7.1% (95% CI, 5.7–8.9%) for extent III, 2.3% (95% CI, 1.6–3.5%) for extent IV, and 6.7% (95% CI, 1.7–23.1%) for extent V TAAA aneurysms. The pooled rate of CSF drain related complications was 1.9% (95% CI, 0.8–4.7%) for severe, 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0–4.0%) for moderate, and 1.8% (95% CI, 0.6–5.6%) for minor complications.
Conclusions: Permanent SCI occurs after both endovascular and open DTA or TAAA repairs. Open repairs and TAAA repairs have higher risk of SCI compared with endovascular or DTA repairs. In particular, extent II aneurysms present the highest overall risk of SCI.