BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Quantification of changes in optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) using ocular sonography (OS) constitutes an elegant technique for estimating intracranial and intraspinal pressure. Aortic aneurysm repair (AAR) is associated with a reasonable risk of increased spinal fluid pressure, which is largely dependent on the extent of aneurysm repair (supra- vs. infrarenal). The aim of this study was to compare ONSD measurements in patients with suprarenal AAR (sAAR) or infrarenal AAR (iAAR).
METHODS: Thirty patients who underwent elective endovascular repair of infrarenal aortic aneurysms (Group iAAR) were included in the study; the characteristics in these cases were prospectively analyzed and compared with those in a previously investigated group of 28 patients treated for suprarenal aortic aneurysms (Group sAAR). Six measurements of ONSDs were performed in each patient at five consecutive time points. Statistical analysis was performed using the Wilcoxon test. A P value < .05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: A highly significant difference between pre- and postinterventional values could be detected in both patient groups (P < .01). In Group sAAR, there was a mean .3-mm increase of the ONSD, whereas in Group iAAR, a mean .2-mm decrease could be detected. Both groups roughly reached baseline values by the end of their inpatient stay.
CONCLUSIONS: ONSD changes seem to be a reliable marker to estimate spinal perfusion. Since OS provides a suitable bedside tool for rapid reevaluation, it may guide physicians in the identification and treatment of patients at high risk for spinal cord ischemia.