Prevention of AD During General Surgery
Despite the partial or total loss of sensation below the level of injury, surgical procedures or manipulations can potentially initiate episodes of AD. Anesthesiologists and surgeons performing surgery on SCI patients must be aware of the interactions of the anesthetic and its effects on AD and how to prevent or manage AD during these procedures.
Two observational studies (Lambert et al. 1982; Eltorai et al. 1997) presented evidence that AD is a common complication during general surgery in individuals with SCI. Up to 90% of individuals undergoing surgery with topical anesthesia or no anesthesia developed AD. Both studies concluded that patients at risk for AD could be protected by either general or spinal anesthesia.
There is level 5 evidence (from 2 observational studies) (Lambert et al. 1982; Eltorai et al. 1997) that indicates that patients at risk for autonomic dysreflexia are protected from developing intraoperative hypertension by either general or spinal anesthesia.