Prediction model for the presence of complications at admission to rehabilitation after traumatic spinal cord injury

Giorgio Scivoletto, Monica Torre, Marco Iosa, Maria Rosaria Porto, Marco Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Complications frequently occur in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) during acute care or rehabilitation and have an impact on rehabilitation outcomes. Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and risk factors for complications in recently injured SCI patients. Methods: Two hundred fifty patients with traumatic injuries with and without complications were counted for the following dichotomous parameters: gender (male/female), associated lesions (presence/ absence), surgery (yes/no), American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) grade (A/other categories), lesion level (lumbar/other levels), and lesion-to-admission time (less than/longer than 1 month). The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval were computed for all the parameters that influenced the presence of complications at admission. These factors have been included in a binary logistic regression analysis (forward stepwise). Results: Complications at admission were observed in 104 patients (41.6%), especially for males, lesion-to-admission time longer than 1 month, presence of associated lesions, AIS grade A, and motor completeness, whereas lumbar lesions were associated with a reduced presence of complications at admission. In the regression analysis, 4 factors entered into the model: motor completeness, lesion-to-admission time, associated lesions, and gender. The final model explained 74% of the variance of data. Conclusions: Despite advances in the acute management of patients with SCI, the study unveiled a high percentage of patients with complications at admission to rehabilitation. The risk factors identified in the study allow determination of the population of subjects who are at higher risk of developing complications and need special management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Complications
  • Prediction model
  • Risk factors
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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