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Title:

Extent of spontaneous motor recovery after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury

Author(s):

Steeves JD, Kramer JK, Fawcett JW, Cragg J, Lammertse DP, Blight AR, Marino RJ, Ditunno JF Jr, Coleman WP, Geisler FH, Guest J, Jones L, Burns S, Schubert M, van Hedel HJ, Curt A; EMSCI Study Group

Year:

2011

Publication Info:

Spinal Cord, 49(2):257-265

Abstract:

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective, longitudinal analysis of motor recovery data from individuals with cervical (C4-C7) sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury (SCI) according to the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI).
OBJECTIVES: To analyze the extent and patterns of spontaneous motor recovery over the first year after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete SCI.
METHODS: Datasets from the European multicenter study about SCI (EMSCI) and the Sygen randomized clinical trial were examined for conversion of American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) grade, change in upper extremity motor score (UEMS) or motor level, as well as relationships between these measures.
RESULTS: There were no overall differences between the EMSCI and Sygen datasets in motor recovery patterns. After 1 year, up to 70% of subjects spontaneously recovered at least one motor level, but only 30% recovered two or more motor levels, with lesser values at intermediate time points. AIS grade conversion did not significantly influence motor level changes. At 1 year, the average spontaneous improvement in bilateral UEMS was 10-11 motor points. There was only moderate relationship between a change in UEMS and a change in cervical motor level (r(2)=0.30, P<0.05). Regardless of initial cervical motor level, most individuals recover a similar number of motor points or motor levels.
CONCLUSION: Careful tracking of cervical motor recovery outcomes may provide the necessary sensitivity and accuracy to reliably detect a subtle, but meaningful treatment effect after sensorimotor complete cervical SCI. The distribution of the UEMS change may be more important functionally than the total UEMS recovered.

Link to Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20714334

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