Published in Journal of Clinical Anesthesia (JCA) (Nov 2014)
Authors: Zaphiratos V, McKeen D, Macaulay B, George R
Anterior spinal artery syndrome has rarely been reported as a cause of permanent neurologic complications after neuraxial anesthesia in obstetric patients. A parturient developed anterior spinal artery syndrome after spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery. A healthy 32-year-old parturient presented at 41(2/7) weeks for primary elective caesarean delivery for breech presentation. Spinal anesthesia was easily performed with clear cerebrospinal fluid, and block height was T4 at 5 minutes. Intraoperative course was uneventful except for symptomatic bradycardia (37-40 beats per minute) and hypotension (88/44 mm Hg) 4 minutes postspinal anesthesia, treated with ephedrine and atropine. Dense motor block persisted 9 hours after spinal anesthesia, and magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral region was normal, finding no spinal cord compression or lesion. Physical examination revealed deficits consistent with a spinal cord lesion at T6, impacting the anterior spinal cord while sparing the posterior tracts.