This study states that Lumbar drain placement with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage is an effective adjunct for reducing the risk of spinal cord ischemia in patients undergoing complex aortic aneurysm repair. However, lumbar drain placement is a challenging procedure with potential for significant complications. We sought to characterize complications of lumbar drain placement in a large, single-center experience of patients who underwent fenestrated or branched endovascular aneurysm repair (F/BEVAR). All patients who underwent F/BEVAR and attempted lumbar drain placement from 2010 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. All lumbar drains were placed by four cardiovascular anesthesiologists who compose the complex aortic anesthesia team. Lumbar drain placement was guided by a set protocol and used whenever the aortic stent graft coverage was planned to extend more proximal than 40 mm above the celiac artery. Details relating to lumbar drain placement, management, and frequency and type of associated complications were characterized.
During the study period, 256 patients underwent F/BEVAR, of whom 100 (39%) were planned for lumbar drain placement. Successful placement occurred in 98 (98%) of the cases. All lumbar drains were placed before induction of general anesthesia,