Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the detection of the artery of Adamkiewicz at magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and the effect such detection has on outcome after surgical graft placement in a series of patients with thoracoabdominal aortic disease.
Materials and methods: This study had ethics committee approval, and written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Fifty patients (38 men, 12 women; age range, 47-83 years; mean age, 67.2 years) who were scheduled to undergo thoracoabdominal aortic surgery for treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (n = 42) or thoracoabdominal aortic dissection (n = 8) were enrolled in the study. MR angiography was performed with a 1.5-T system by using dynamic three-dimensional fast spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady state with a bolus of contrast material and saline injection (4 mL/sec). Differences in the cross-clamping time, bypass time, total surgery time, and spinal complication rate between patients in whom the artery of Adamkiewicz was identified (group A) and those in whom the artery was not identified (group B) were evaluated with chi(2) or Mann-Whitney U testing.
Results: In 42 of the 50 patients (84% [group A]), at least one artery of Adamkiewicz was seen to arise from an intercostal artery. Two arteries of Adamkiewicz were identified in four of the patients (8%). The artery of Adamkiewicz could not be detected with MR angiography in eight patients (group B). The ranges of cross-clamping, bypass, and total surgery times, respectively, were 30-199 minutes (mean, 78.4 minutes +/- 39.1 [standard deviation]), 30-298 minutes (mean, 96.9 minutes +/- 60.0), and 135-665 minutes (mean, 354.9 minutes +/- 133.9) in group A and 53-124 minutes (mean, 72.8 minutes +/- 29.8), 10-124 minutes (mean, 66.0 minutes +/- 41.0), and 220-405 minutes (mean, 315.6 minutes +/- 68.8) in group B. Spinal complications occurred in two patients in group B but in none of the patients in group A (P < .001).
Conclusion: The artery of Adamkiewicz was detected in a large percentage of patients in whom there were no spinal complications, unlike the spinal complications that occurred in the patients in whom the artery was not detected.