Retrospective analysis and retrospective follow-up.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have today a nearly normal lifespan. Avoidance of medical complications is key to this end. The aim of the study was to analyse health in individuals surviving 25 years or more after traumatic SCI in Stockholm and Florence, and compare medical complications.
Data from the databases of the Spinal Unit of Florence and from the Spinalis, Stockholm were analysed. Patients included were C2-L 2, American Spinal Cord Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) A-C, and =25 years post traumatic SCI. Patients underwent a thorough neurological and general examination, and were interviewed about medical events during those years. Analysed data include: gender, age at injury, current age, neurological level, AIS, cause of injury, presence of neuropathic pain (NP), and spasticity and medical complications.
A total of 66 Italian patients and 74 Swedish patients were included. The only statistical difference between the groups was cause of injury due to falls was higher in the Florence group (P
The objective of this study is to compare arterial stiffness between those with spinal cord injury (SCI) and able-bodied (AB) individuals when matched for habitual level of physical activity.
A total of 17 SCI and 17 AB individuals were matched for sex, age, weight, blood pressure, and levels of self-reported habitual physical activity (Godin-Shephard). Measures included central pulse wave velocity (PWV) (carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV)) and lower limb PWV (femoral--toe PWV(ftPWV)) as well as large and small arterial compliance.
The cfPWV was significantly elevated (7.3 ± 2.1 vs. 5.7 ± 1.4 m·s, P
Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in severe dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. C1-C8 SCI affects the supraspinal control to the heart, T1-T5 SCI affects the spinal sympathetic outflow to the heart, and T6-T12 SCI leaves sympathetic control to the heart intact. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis can serve as a surrogate measure of autonomic regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in HRV patterns and alterations in patients with acute traumatic SCI.
As soon as possible after SCI patients who met the inclusion criteria had 24?h Holter monitoring of their cardiac rhythm, additional Holter monitoring were performed 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks after SCI.
Fifty SCI patients were included. A significant increase in standard deviation of the average normal-to-normal (SDANN) sinus intervals was seen in the first month after injury (P=0.008). The increase was only significant in C1-T5 incomplete patients and in patients who did not experience one or more episodes of cardiac arrest. Significant lower values of Low Frequency Power, Total Power and the Low Frequency over High Frequency ratio were seen in the C1-T5 SCI patients compared with T6-T12 SCI patients.
The rise in SDANN in the incomplete C1-T5 patients could be due to spontaneous functional recovery caused by synaptic plasticity or remodelling of damaged axons. That the autonomic nervous system function differs between C1-C8, T1-T5 and T6-T12 patients suggest that the sympathovagal balance in both the C1-C8 and T1-T5 SCI patients has yet to be reached.
Pressure ulcers (PUs) are a common secondary complication experienced by community dwelling individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). There is a paucity of literature on the health economic impact of PU in SCI population from a societal perspective. The objective of this study was to determine the resource use and costs in 2010 Canadian dollars of a community dwelling SCI individual experiencing a PU from a societal perspective. A non-comparative cost analysis was conducted on a cohort of community dwelling SCI individuals from Ontario, Canada. Medical resource use was recorded over the study period. Unit costs associated with these resources were collected from publicly available sources and published literature. Average monthly cost was calculated based on 7-month follow-up. Costs were stratified by age, PU history, severity level, location of SCI, duration of current PU and PU surface area. Sensitivity analyses were also carried out. Among the 12 study participants, total average monthly cost per community dwelling SCI individual with a PU was $4745. Hospital admission costs represented the greatest percentage of the total cost (62%). Sensitivity analysis showed that the total average monthly costs were most sensitive to variations in hospitalisation costs.
Vertebral compression, as evidenced by compression of the centrum, was observed within two Native Alaskan skeletal samples. Information was collected from 1,071 and 656 vertebrae from Golovin Bay and Nunivak Island, Alaska, respectively. In addition, patterns of compression related vertebral change in each collection were characterized by sex and location within the vertebral column. The overall frequencies of vertebral compression were 3.6% (n = 721) at Golovin Bay and 1.7% (n = 403) at Nunivak Island for all observable thoracic and lumbar vertebrae (T1-L5). There was no statistically significant difference in the occurrence of compression among adults between these two collections. When examining the thoracic and lumbar vertebral segments by sex, females at Golovin Bay (4.5%; n = 442) exhibited a significantly higher frequency of vertebral compression than females at Nunivak (1.0%; n = 203). However, this difference in occurrence of compression could be accounted for by the age distributions of the two samples. No difference was noted between the males of the two collections. Compression frequencies in both samples are discussed in relation to the modes of transportation historically utilized by each community.
To evaluate recreational and medical cannabis use in individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury, including reasons and predictors for use, perceived benefits and negative consequences.
Cross-sectional survey in Denmark.
A 35-item questionnaire was sent to 1,101 patients with spinal cord injury who had been in contact with a rehabilitation centre between 1990 and 2012.
A total of 537 participants completed the questionnaire. Of these, 36% had tried cannabis at least once and 9% were current users. Of current users, 79% had started to use cannabis before their spinal cord injury. The main reason for use was pleasure, but 65% used cannabis partly for spinal cord injury-related consequences and 59% reported at least good effect on pain and spasticity. Negative consequences of use were primarily inertia and feeling quiet/subdued. Lower age, living in rural areas/larger cities, tobacco-smoking, high alcohol intake and higher muscle stiffness were significantly associated with cannabis use. Those who had never tried cannabis reported that they would mainly use cannabis to alleviate pain and spasticity if it were legalized.
Cannabis use is more frequent among individuals with spinal cord injury in Denmark than among the general population. High muscle stiffness and various demographic characteristics (lower age, living in rural areas/larger cities, tobacco-smoking and high alcohol intake) were associated with cannabis use. Most participants had started using cannabis before their spinal cord injury. There was considerable overlap between recreational and disability-related use.
To determine the incidence and evaluate the characteristics of newly injured patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) admitted to two of the three national spinal cord injury (SCI) centers during the first year after the centralization of SCI care in Finland.
Oulu and Tampere University Hospital SCI centers, Finland.
The designated rehabilitation teams evaluated all of the patients with a new SCI and persisting neurological symptoms. The data were recorded according to the International Spinal Cord Injury Core Data Set.
In a 1-year period, 77 new patients with TSCI were admitted to the study centers serving a population of 3?065?946. In the whole catchment area, the mean annual incidence of TSCI was 25.1 per million, and in the hospital districts of the SCI centers, the incidence was even higher, at 38.1 per million. The mean age of the patients was 58.7 years. Falls were the leading cause of injury (64.9%), and the injury resulted in tetraplegia in 70.1% of the cases. Alcohol use was a contributing factor in 39% of the cases in the entire sample and in 58.6% of cases among patients aged younger than 60 years.
The incidence rates of TSCI were markedly higher than expected, demonstrating the previously hidden morbidity. The epidemiological features of TSCI appeared to follow the trends in developed countries, highlighting the increasing incidence of cervical lesions due to falling among the elderly. The results need to be confirmed in an extended follow-up.
To provide recent estimates of the incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in adults living in Ontario.
The study included all men and women aged 18 years and older living in Ontario. The two primary data sources used for this study were the census data provided by Statistics Canada and the hospital Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) provided by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Incidence was estimated for the fiscal years 2003/04-2006/07, and examined by age, gender, mechanism and seasonality of injury, the level of injury, the presence of comorbidity and in-hospital mortality.
The incident cases had a mean age of 51.3 years (s.d. 20.1). The majority of the cases was male (74.1%) and had a cervical SCI caused by falls (49.5%). The age-adjusted incidence rate was stable over the 4-year study period, from 24.2 per million (95% CI: 21.2-27.6) in 2003 to 23.1 per million (95% CI: 20.2-26.3) in 2006.
Despite worldwide trends that have indicated motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) as the leading cause of injury, falls emerged as the leading cause of traumatic SCI in this study. This finding, and the fact that the number of fall-induced injuries increased steadily with age, may indicate that there is growing concern for the consequences of falls in the elderly. Further work is needed to understand this trend in age and gender and the causes of falls to develop effective fall prevention strategies.
Translation of the Spinal Cord Injury Falls Concern Scale (SCI-FCS); validation and investigation of psychometric properties.
Translation, adaptation and validation study.
Eighty-seven wheelchair users with chronic SCI attending follow-up at Rehab Station Stockholm/Spinalis, Sweden.
The SCI-FCS was translated to Swedish and culturally adapted according to guidelines. Construct validity was examined with the Mann-Whitney U-test, and psychometric properties with factor and Rasch analysis.
Participants generally reported low levels of concerns about falling. Participants with higher SCI-FCS scores also reported fear of falling, had been injured for a shorter time, reported symptoms of depression, anxiety and fatigue, and were unable to get up from the ground independently. Falls with or without injury the previous year, age, level of injury, sex and sitting balance did not differentiate the level of SCI-FCS score. The median SCI-FCS score was 21 (range 16-64). Cronbachs alpha (0.95), factor and Rasch analysis showed similar results of the Swedish as of the original version.
The Swedish SCI-FCS showed high internal consistency and similar measurement properties and structure as the original version. It showed discriminant ability for fear of falling, time since injury, symptoms of depression or anxiety, fatigue and ability to get up from the ground but not for age, gender or falls. Persons with shorter time since injury, psychological concerns, fatigue and decreased mobility were more concerned about falling. In a clinical setting, the SCI-FCS might help identifying issues to address to reduce the concerns about falling.