Dynamics of selected biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid during complex endovascular aortic repair – a pilot study: Spinal fluid biomarkers in aortic repair.

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Ischemic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious complication of complex aortic repair. Prophylactic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage, used to decrease lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, enables monitoring of CSF biomarkers that may aid in detecting impending SCI. We hypothesized that biomarkers, previously evaluated in traumatic SCI and brain injury, would be altered in CSF over time following complex endovascular aortic repair (cEVAR).To examine if a chosen cohort of CSF biomarker correlates to SCI and warrants further research.A prospective observational study on patients undergoing cEVAR with extensive aortic coverage. Vital parameters and CSF samples were collected on ten occasions during 72 hours post-surgery. A panel of ten biomarkers were analyzed (Neurofilament Light Polypeptide (NFL), Tau, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), Soluble Amyloid Precursos Protein (APP) α and β, Amyloid β 38, 40 and 42 (Aβ38, 40 and 42), Chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3LI or YKL-40), Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP).).Nine patients (mean age 69, 7 males) were included. Median total aortic coverage was 68% [33, 98]. One patient died during the 30-day post-operative period. After an initial stable phase for the first few postoperative hours, most biomarkers showed an upward trend compared with baseline in all patients with >50% increase in value for NFL in 5/9 patients, in 7/9 patients for Tau and in 5/9 patients for GFAP. One patient developed spinal cord and supratentorial brain ischemia, confirmed with MRI. In this case, NF-L, GFAP and tau were markedly elevated compared with non-SCI patients (maximum increase compared with baseline in the SCI patient versus mean value of the maximal increase for all other patients: NF-L 367% vs 79%%, GFAP 95608% versus 3433%, tau 1020% vs 192%).. This study suggests an increase in all ten studied CSF biomarkers after coverage of spinal arteries during endovascular aortic repair. However, the pilot study was not able to establish a specific correlation between spinal fluid biomarker elevation and clinical symptoms of SCI due to small sample size and event rate.

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Authors: Gísli Gunnar Jónsson, Niklas Marklund, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Anders Wanhainen, David Lindström, Jacob Eriksson, Kevin Mani