ACCURATE blood pressure control during surgery following spinal cord injury could assist in patient recovery, according to a recently published study. The researchers emphasised that high or low blood pressure changes during surgery contribute to poorer outcomes.
The current recommendations for managing patients with spinal cord injuries insist on sufficient blood flow to the site of injury and highlight the importance of avoiding low blood pressure. However, high blood pressure should also be avoided as it could lead to bleeding, which in turn causes further damage to the spine. The novel study, using real-world data, suggested that sustaining a quintessential blood pressure range during surgery could assist patients in recovering their motor function.
Abel Torres-Espin, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, California, USA, stated that the correct window for management of blood pressure to boost recovery from an acute spinal cord injury is barely understood. In this study, the researchers used machine learning techniques to understand the relationship between changes in blood pressure and heart rate during surgery and neuromotor recovery to determine treatment approaches that predict patient recovery. Blood pressure data from 118 patients who had undergone surgery from spinal cord injuries at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, USA, and the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, California, USA, was analysed by the research team.
The results of the investigation suggested that patients with too high or too low blood pressure during surgery had lower neuromotor recovery. Furthermore, if the mean blood pressure was between 76 mmHg and 104–117 mmHg during surgery, the patients had a higher chance of successful recovery. “Machine learning tools could be used to create real-time models that help predict the likelihood of a patient’s recovery,” concluded Adam Ferguson, Professor of Neurological Surgery at School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, and senior co-author of study. “Such models could also be applied to forecasting patient outcomes early after a spinal cord injury.”