Predicting Long-Term Outcome After Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Vertebrae Imaging

In the days after a traumatic spinal cord injury, the patient and family members must face a difficult uncertainty-when and how much will the patient recover? Clinicians also face this uncertainty because there is often little to guide prognosis.

However, a recent study used hospital records and eventual outcomes to create a new model of outcome prediction after spinal cord injury. The study used the Functional Independence Measure as a measurement of outcome, and injury severity, motor score upon admission, age, and MRI results as the potential predictors.

The researchers found that less severe injuries and higher motor scores at admission predicted better scores in long-term functional independence. They also found that older age and spinal cord edema or hemorrhage predicted worse scores in long-term functional independence.

Wilson JR, Grossman RG, Frankowski RF, et al. A clinical prediction model of long-term functional outcome after traumatic spinal cord injury based on acute clinical and imaging factors. Journal of Neurotrauma. (September 2012).