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ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MP) and mouse nerve growth factor (mNGF) for injection in treating acute spinal cord injury (ASCI) and cauda equina injury.
Between December 2004 and December 2007, 43 patients with ASCI and cauda equina injury were treated, including 33 males and 10 females with an average age of 43 years (range, 32-66 years). Injured vertebral columns were C2 in 1 case, C4 in 5 cases, C5 in 7 cases, C6 in 3 cases, T8 in 1 case, T10 in 1 case, T11 in 2 cases, T12 in 3 cases, L1 in 9 cases, L2 in 5 cases, L3 in 3 cases, L4 in 1 case, and L5 in 2 cases. All the patients had sensory disturbance and motor dysfunction at admission. The Frankel scale was used for assessment of nerve function, 5 cases were rated as Grade A, 12 as Grade B, 22 as Grade C, and 4 as Grade D before operation. In 43 patients, 23 cases were treated with MP and mNGF (group A), 20 cases with MP only (group B). There was no significant difference in general data between 2 groups (P > 0.05). All the patients were admitted, received drug treatment within 8 hours of injury, and were given spinal canal decompression, bone transplantation, and internal fixation within 48 hours. The neurological function score systems of American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) were used for neurological scores before treatment, at 1 week and 2 years after treatment. The scores of the activity of daily living (ADL) were evaluated and compared.
All the patients achieved healing of incision by first intention. Forty-three cases were followed up 24-61 months with an average of 30 months. Bone graft fusion was achieved after 6-17 months, 11 months on average with stable fixation. No death and complications of osteonecrosis and central obesity occurred. There was no significant difference in neurological function scores and ADL scores between 2 groups before treatment (P > 0.05); however, the neurological function scores and ADL scores at 1 week and 2 years after treatment were higher than those before treatment (P < 0.01) in 2 groups. Group A had higher neurological function scores and ADL scores than group B (P < 0.01). At 1 week and 2 years after treatment, the improvement rates of neurological function of group A (47.8%, 11/23 and 91.3%, 21/23) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those of group B (30.0%, 6/20 and 70.0%, 14/20).
MP and mNGF play an important role in improving the neurological function in patients with ASCI and cauda equina injury.
Zhongguo xiu fu chong jian wai ke za zhi = Zhongguo xiufu chongjian waike zazhi = Chinese journal of reparative and reconstructive surgery 10/2010; 24(10):1208-11.