What is the mortality and morbidity associated with spinal cord infarction?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Thomas F Scott, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

The risk to life and its quality from spinal cord infarction is substantial because of the disability, which can be severe, with paraplegia, risk of pulmonary emboli, and risk of infection (eg, bladder, lungs, decubiti). However, no epidemiologic studies are available because of the relatively small number of patients affected.

Published series of reports of spinal cord infarction are relatively small, ranging up to 36-44 patients. [1] They find a mortality rate in the vicinity of 20-25% for patients admitted to hospital with spinal cord infarction. [2]  No relationship to age is reported. However, the reported series do have a median age of 52 years.


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