Pressure sores and blood and serum dysmetabolism in spinal cord injury patients

G. Scivoletto, U. Fuoco, B. Morganti, E. Cosentino, M. Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design: Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients with pressure sores were studied before and after surgical intervention for ulcer healing and compared with matched SCI patients without sores and with patients with pressure sores and other diseases. Objective: To analyse the relationship between pressure sores and anaemia and serum protein alteration in SCI patients. To study the pathogenesis of these alterations and suggest appropriate therapy. Setting: Spinal cord unit in Rome, Italy. Subjects: A total of 13 SCI patients with pressure sores, 13 comparable patients without pressure sores and four patients with other diseases and pressure sores. Main measures: Haematochemical parameters. Results: Patients with pressure sore showed significant decreased red cells, decreased haemoglobin and haematocrit, increased white cells and ferritin and decreased transferrin and transferrin saturation; total hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia with increased Alfa-1 and gamma globulins increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein were also present. The alterations returned to normal after surgical intervention for pressure sore healing. Conclusions: Patients with pressure sores suffer from anaemia and serum protein alteration that fells within the range of metabolic alteration of chronic disorders and neoplastic diseases. The alterations depend on a decreased utilisation of iron stores in the reticuloendothelial system and on inhibition of the hepatic synthesis of albumin. With regard to treatment, iron treatment should be avoided because of the risk of haemochromatosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-476
Number of pages4
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Anaemia
  • Chronic inflammatory state
  • Decubitus ulcer
  • Serum protein alteration
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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