Retrospective case series of outcomes following spinal cord infarction

Peter New, C L McFarlane

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Background and purpose: There are very few studies of functional and rehabilitation outcomes in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) owing to infarction. Methods: Retrospective chart review of consecutive admissions to a tertiary medical unit specializing in SCI rehabilitation, Melbourne, Australia. All admissions between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2008 with a recent onset of SCI owing to ischaemia were included. Outcome measures included the following: demographic characteristics, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS), length of stay (LOS), medical complications, accommodation, support services, continence, mobility and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) motor scores. Outcome measures recorded at admission, discharge and at 12months post discharge. Results: Forty-four patients were admitted for rehabilitation (men=26, 59 ), with a median age of 72years (interquartile range [IQR], 62-79). On admission, 41 (93 ) patients had paraplegia. The majority of patients (n=33, 75 ) had an incomplete SCI. Aetiology was vascular in 19 (43 ) patients, idiopathic in 11 (25 ) and other in 14 (33 ). The median LOS in rehabilitation was 85days (IQR, 24-129). The most common complications were pain (n=34, 77 ), urinary tract infection (n=25, 57 ), spasticity (n=12, 27 ), cardiac failure (n=11, 25 ) and pneumonia (n=9, 20 ). At rehabilitation discharge most patients (n=35, 80 ) had no change in their AIS grade. Despite this, the FIM motor subscale on admission (median=28; IQR, 21-34) had significantly improved (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207 - 1212
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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