Print version ISSN 1808-1851
BALLESTEROS PLAZA, Vicente et al. Spinal cord injury: literature update: physiopathology and initial treatment. Coluna/Columna [online]. 2012, vol.11, n.1, pp.73-76. ISSN 1808-1851. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1808-18512012000100014.
The pathophysiology of spinal cord injury (SCI) is complex and still not fully elucidated. Primary and secondary processes determine SCI. The initial injury is produced by the transmission of the mechanical energy of the trauma to the spinal cord and neural structures. The secondary injury acts on those structures that were spared by the initial trauma, affecting microvascular perfusion and ionic concentrations, inducing the liberation of free radicals and neurotransmitters and activating lipid peroxidation, thus producing cellular death. Recent research in the treatment of SCI is focused on the development of timely therapeutic interventions that could attenuate the effects of these secondary pathophysiological mechanisms. Among the pharmacological interventions, methyl-prednisolone, gangliosides and antagonists of opiod, glutamate receptor and ionic channels have been used, advocating their theoretical protective effect in the neurological prognosis of patients with SCI. Nevertheless, none of these interventions has yet significantly modified this prognosis.
Keywords : Spinal cord injuries [history]; Spinal cord injuries [etiology]; Spinal cord injuries [physiopathology]; Review.