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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35734

Steeves, J D; Kramer, J K; Fawcett, J W; Cragg, J; Lammertse, D P; Blight, A R; Marino, R J; Ditunno, J F; Coleman, W P; Geisler, F H; Guest, J; Jones, L; Burns, S; Schubert, M; van Hedel, H J A; Curt, A (2011). Extent of spontaneous motor recovery after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 49(2):257-265.

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Retrospective, longitudinal analysis of motor recovery data from individuals with cervical (C4-C7) sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury (SCI) according to the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI).

To analyze the extent and patterns of spontaneous motor recovery over the first year after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete SCI.

Datasets from the European multicenter study about SCI (EMSCI) and the Sygen randomized clinical trial were examined for conversion of American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) grade, change in upper extremity motor score (UEMS) or motor level, as well as relationships between these measures.

There were no overall differences between the EMSCI and Sygen datasets in motor recovery patterns. After 1 year, up to 70% of subjects spontaneously recovered at least one motor level, but only 30% recovered two or more motor levels, with lesser values at intermediate time points. AIS grade conversion did not significantly influence motor level changes. At 1 year, the average spontaneous improvement in bilateral UEMS was 10-11 motor points. There was only moderate relationship between a change in UEMS and a change in cervical motor level (r(2)=0.30, P<0.05). Regardless of initial cervical motor level, most individuals recover a similar number of motor points or motor levels.

Careful tracking of cervical motor recovery outcomes may provide the necessary sensitivity and accuracy to reliably detect a subtle, but meaningful treatment effect after sensorimotor complete cervical SCI. The distribution of the UEMS change may be more important functionally than the total UEMS recovered.


42 citations in Web of Science®
50 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:04 Nov 2010 12:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:14
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Publisher DOI:10.1038/sc.2010.99
PubMed ID:20714334

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