Completed Research Studies

13. Title: Predictive Value of Light Touch in Patients with Initial Motor Complete and Sensory Incomplete SCI

Purpose: To determine whether the pinprick test could be used as a prognostic indicator in persons with motor complete and sensory incomplete spinal cord injury.

Principal Investigator: Anthony S. Burns, MD

Background: Doctors have long used the "pinprick test" to help determine whether patients have lost sensation. In one version of this test, the patient is to close his or her eyes and differentiate the sensation of a pinprick from light touch.

In this study, "pinprick preservation" was defined as the ability to differentiate pinprick from light-touch.

In this study, there were 132 participants with motor complete or sensory incomplete (ASIA B) spinal cord injuries. Within 72 hours of injury, the degree of pinprick preservation was assessed.

Follow-up was available for 112 subjects at 26 weeks and 97 subjects at 52 weeks. A higher percentage of individuals with sacral pinprick preservation were walking 25 feet or greater at 26 weeks (39% vs. 28%) and 52 weeks (54% vs. 42%).

There was statistically significant improvement at 52 weeks (65% vs. 41%, p-value = 0.049) for individuals with pinprick preservation in greater than or equal to 50% of lower extremity test points.

Thirty-nine percent of the pinprick preserved group (vs. 17% other group, p-value = 0.023) were ambulating 150 feet or greater without assistance.

Age did not have a significant effect on recovery of ambulatory function.

Conclusion: Data from this multicenter clinical trial confirms the prognostic value of pinprick preservation in ASIA B spinal cord injuries.

Status: Study Completed

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