Infarction of the lumbar and sacral spinal cord was demonstrated at autopsy of a 72-year-old man in whom acute paraplegia developed following coronary artery bypass grafting and atrial septal defect repair with intraoperative insertion of an intraaortic balloon. Autopsy findings showed that infarcts of the spinal cord and other key organs were caused by critical occlusion of small arterioles by cholesterol emboli. These emboli apparently arose as a result of the fragmentation of atheromatous plaques within the aorta during use of the intraaortic balloon pump with subsequent embolization and occlusion of small blood vessels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine