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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1345--1350

Prognostic Value of Age and Early Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Cervical Subaxial Spinal Cord Injuries

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA
2 Department of Neuroscience, University of Oxford, UK
3 Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, Canada
4 Department of Neurosurgery, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
5 Department of Orthopedics, University of Köln, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Köln, Germany
6 Department of Neurosurgery, Centro de Investigaciones Biomedicas (CIB), University of Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rafael Martinez-Perez
Department of Neurosurgery, Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.304104

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Background and Objective: The predictive role of a patient's age in spinal cord injury (SCI) is still unclear given the coexistence of potential confounding factors, whether clinical or radiological. Thus, it is the aim of this work to assess the prognostic role of a patient's age against initial radiological features in a traumatic cervical SCI population. Methods: Clinical and radiological data from patients with acute traumatic cervical SCI and a first MRI performed within 48 h of trauma were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were dichotomized according to the length intramedullary lesion, and associations between age and other clinical or radiological prognostic variables were analyzed. The receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to test the discriminative capacity of the patient age to predict neurological and functional outcomes. Poor functional outcome was defined as a Walking Index Spinal Cord Injury score <1 and poor neurological outcome as the lack of neurological improvement between admission and follow up. Results: 134 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. The mean age was 43 years, with a male/female ratio of 4:1. polytrauma and soft tissue injuries were inversely proportional to patient age (P < 0.001). A critical value of 55-year-old was established as a threshold for determining poor functional and neurological outcomes. Across the group of patients with minor intramedullary lesions, older age was correlated with poor functional and neurological outcomes (P < 0.001 and P = 0.04, respectively). Conclusions: Patient age is an important prognostic factor in patients with traumatic cervical SCI. Fifty-five years is the critical cutoff associated with poor prognostic outcome.


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