Outcomes following ischemic myelopathies and traumatic spinal injury

Jacopo Bonavita, Monica Torre, Rita Capirossi, Ilaria Baroncini, Elisa Brunelli, Giorgia Chiarottini, Elisa Maietti, Silvia Olivi, Marco Molinari, Giorgio Scivoletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: As the general population ages, the rising prevalence of vascular lesions of the spinal cord will become significant. Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the neurological and functional outcomes of patients with ischemic spinal cord injury (ISCI) and traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI). Methods: We conducted a retrospective study in a spinal cord unit of 2 rehabilitation hospitals. We studied 168 patients with a TSCI and 72 with an ISCI. At admission and discharge, patients were evaluated by American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) standards and Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM). Length of stay, occurrence of complications, and discharge dispositions were also recorded. Linear and logistic regression models were used to analyze the effects of the etiology of the lesion, AIS level at admission, and level of the lesion. Results: Patients with an ISCI were older and experienced fewer cervical lesions and fewer complete lesions than patients with TSCI. By linear and logistic regression, etiology was a predictor (together with lesion features) of functional (SCIM improvement and SCIM at discharge) outcome, with traumatic patients having better outcome than ischemic ones. Age, AIS level, and lesion level were the chief predictors of length of stay, occurrence of complications, and discharge dispositions. Conclusions: A diagnosis of ischemia and trauma could be a determinant of functional recovery in SCI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Functional outcome
  • Neurological outcome
  • Outcome assessment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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