Neuroprotection of erythropoietin and methylprednisolone against spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury.
ABSTRACT Recent research based on various animal models has shown the neuroprotective effects of erythropoietin (EPO). However, few studies have examined such effects of EPO in the clinic. In this study we enrolled patients with spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury to investigate the clinical application of EPO and methylprednisolone (MP) for the neuroprotection against spinal cord I-R injury. Retrospective analysis of 63 cases of spinal cord I-R injury was performed. The Frankel neurological performance scale was used to evaluate the neurological function after spinal cord injury (SCI), including 12 cases of scale B, 30 cases of scale C, and 21 cases of scale D. These cases were divided into 2 groups: group A (27 cases) got treatment with both EPO and MP; group B (36 cases) got treatment with MP only. The neurological function of patients after treatment was evaluated by American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) index score, and activity of daily living (ADL) of the patients was also recorded. All patients got follow-up and the follow-up period ranged from 24 to 39 months (mean 26 months). There was no significance difference in neurological function between groups A and B before the treatment (P>0.05). However, the neurological function and ADL scores were significantly improved 1 week, 1 year or 2 years after the treatment compared to those before the treatment (P<0.05), and the improvement was more significant in group A than in group B (P<0.05). It is suggested that the clinical application of EPO and MP provides the neuroprotection against spinal cord I-R injury.