Clinical prognostic factors for bladder function recovery of patients with spinal cord and cauda equina lesions

G. Scivoletto, E. Cosentino, B. Morganti, S. Farchi, M. Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the relationship between lesion severity and other clinical factors and bladder function recovery. Patients and methods: The charts of 269 patients with traumatic and non traumatic spinal cord lesion (SCL) were reviewed and the following information was recorded: lesion to admission time, injury variables, length of stay and neurological status. At five months, urological outcome was assessed by voiding modalities, and urodynamics according to International Continence Society. Statistics: Logistic approach with univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: Both ASIA impairment at admission and age were significantly correlated with bladder function outcome. None of the patients with ASIA A impairment at admission reached volitional voiding at five months. ASIA B patients had a 90% lower probability of achieving good bladder control and ASIA C ones a 65% lower than ASIA D patients (p gt;0.05). Older patients had a significant lower probability (60%) of achieving volitional voiding than younger ones (p gt;0.05). Of the 121 patients with ASIA D impairment at discharge only 78 voided spontaneously and showed a higher frequency of cervical lesions and a lower frequency of detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia. Discussion and conclusion: Bladder recovery in patients with complete SCL is limited. ASIA B patients showed a better neurological recovery and, concurrently, better bladder function recovery than ASIA A patients, thus demonstrating the importance of sensation preservation for recovery. Younger patients show better bladder recovery than older ones, probably because of different efficiency of spinal cord plasticity. Finally, patients with good neurological recovery may not achieve volitional voiding. Patients with bladder function recovery show a higher frequency of central cord and Brown-Sequard syndromes (with better prognosis) and a lower frequency of detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Age
  • ASIA impairment
  • Bladder recovery
  • Spinal cord lesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)


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