Study design: Retrospective chart audit. Objectives: This study aimed to identify conventional routine blood testing biomarkers associated with the progression of intramedullary injured area in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: A spinal cord injury center in Hokkaido, Japan. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 71 consecutive adults with acute SCI who were admitted within 24 h after injury and diagnosed as American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale Grade A or B at admission. Participants were divided into the progression (P group) and no progression group (NP group) based on the change of the hyperintense signal abnormality in the spinal cord on magnetic resonance imaging from the time of admission to 4 weeks after injury. Individual characteristics and blood testing data obtained in the first 4 weeks after injury were compared between groups. Results: The P and NP groups were comprised of 16 and 55 participants, respectively. In univariate analyses, white blood cell (WBC) count on day 3 was significantly higher in group P than group NP (P = 0.021), as was serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level on day 3 (P = 0.015) and day 7 (P = 0.047). Multivariable analysis identified serum CRP level on day 3 as a significant independent prognostic factor for the progression of secondary SCI (OR, 1.138; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.28; P = 0.034). Conclusions: Serum CRP level on day 3 after injury was a good predictor for the progression of intramedullary signal intensity change on MRI from acute to subacute stage in patients with SCI.
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