STUDY DESIGN:
A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

OBJECTIVE:
A hemisection of the spinal cord is a frequently used animal model for spinal cord injury (SCI), the corresponding human condition, that is, the Brown-Sequard syndrome (BS), is relatively rare as compared with the central cord syndrome (CC). The time course of neurological deficit, functional recovery, impulse conductivity and rehabilitation length of stay in BS and CC subjects were compared.

SETTING:
Nine European Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centers.

METHODS:
Motor score, walking function, daily life activities, somatosensory evoked potentials and length of stay were evaluated 1 and 6 months after SCI, and were compared between age-matched groups of tetraparetic BS and CC subjects.

RESULTS:
For all analyzed measures no difference in the time course of improvement was found in 15 matched pairs.

CONCLUSION:
In contrast to the assumption of a better outcome of subjects with BS, no difference was found between the two incomplete SCI groups. This is of interest with respect to the different potential mechanisms leading to a recovery of functions in these two SCI subgroups.





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