✓ Ischemia is the pathophysiological mechanism in many types of spinal cord injury. In the present study, the infrarenal segment of the aorta was occluded for 25 minutes to produce spinal cord infarction in rabbits. Paraplegia occurred in 100% of control animals. Thiopental administered before aortic occlusion resulted in paraplegia in only 40% of animals so treated (p < 0.01). Histological study of the spinal cord demonstrated infarction of the gray matter in all paraplegic animals, whereas the microscopic appearance was normal in animals without neurological deficit. The protective influence of thiopental therapy in spinal cord ischemia was demonstrated.