International standards to document remaining autonomic function after spinal cord injury
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Spinal cord. - Edinburgh
, p. 36-43
University of Antwerp
Study design: Experts opinions consensus. Objective: To develop a common strategy to document remaining autonomic neurologic function following spinal cord injury (SCI). Background and Rationale: The impact of a specific SCI on a person's neurologic function is generally described through use of the International Standards for the Neurological Classification of SCI. These standards document the remaining motor and sensory function that a person may have; however, they do not provide information about the status of a person's autonomic function. Methods: Based on this deficiency, the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) commissioned a group of international experts to develop a common strategy to document the remaining autonomic neurologic function. Results: Four subgroups were commissioned: bladder, bowel, sexual function and general autonomic function. On-line communication was followed by numerous face to face meetings. The information was then presented in a summary format at a course on Measurement in Spinal Cord Injury, held on June 24, 2006. Subsequent to this it was revised online by the committee members, posted on the websites of both ASIA and ISCoS for comment and re-revised through webcasts. Topics include an overview of autonomic anatomy, classification of cardiovascular, respiratory, sudomotor and thermoregulatory function, bladder, bowel and sexual function. Conclusion: This document describes a new system to document the impact of SCI on autonomic function. Based upon current knowledge of the neuroanatomy of autonomic function this paper provides a framework with which to communicate the effects of specific spinal cord injuries on cardiovascular, broncho-pulmonary, sudomotor, bladder, bowel and sexual function.