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Trajectory Based Classification of Recovery In Sensorimotor Complete Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury – Individual Recovery Trajectory Data

Citation

Wilson, Jefferson (2022), Trajectory Based Classification of Recovery In Sensorimotor Complete Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury – Individual Recovery Trajectory Data, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1zcrjdfq6

Abstract

Objective

To test the hypothesis that sensorimotor complete traumatic cervical spinal cord injury is a heterogenous clinical entity comprising several subpopulations that follow fundamentally different trajectories of neurological recovery.

Methods

We analyzed demographic and injury data from 655 patients who were pooled from four prospective longitudinal multicenter studies. Group based trajectory modeling was applied to model neurological recovery trajectories over the initial 12-months postinjury and to identify predictors of recovery trajectories. Neurological outcomes included: Upper Extremity Motor Score, Total Motor Scores and AIS grade improvement.

Results 

The analysis identified three distinct trajectories of neurological recovery. These clinical courses included: (1) Marginal recovery trajectory: characterized by minimal or no improvement in motor strength or change in AIS grade status (remained grade A); (2) Moderate recovery trajectory: characterized by low baseline motor scores that improved approximately 13 points; or AIS conversion of one grade point; (3) Good recovery trajectory: characterized by baseline motor scores in the upper quartile that improved to near maximum values within three months of injury. Patients following the moderate or good recovery trajectories were of younger age, had more caudally located injuries, a higher degree of preserved motor and sensory function at baseline examination and exhibited a greater extent of motor and sensory function in the zone of partial preservation.

Conclusion

Cervical complete SCI can be classified into one of three distinct subpopulations with fundamentally different trajectories of neurological recovery. This study defines unique clinical phenotypes based on potential for recovery, rather than baseline severity of injury alone. This approach may prove beneficial in clinical prognostication and in the design and interpretation of clinical trials in SCI.