Bowel Outcome Prediction After Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Longitudinal Cohort Study.
Pavese C, Bachmann LM, Schubert M, Curt A, Mehnert U, Schneider MP, Scivoletto G, Finazzi Agrò E, Maier D, Abel R, Weidner N, Rupp R, Kessels AG, Kessler TM
Background. Predicting functional outcomes after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is essential for counseling, rehabilitation planning, and discharge. Moreover, the outcome prognosis is crucial for patient stratification when designing clinical trials. However, no valid prediction rule is currently available for bowel outcomes after a SCI. Objective. To generate a model for predicting the achievement of independent, reliable bowel management at 1 year after traumatic SCI. Methods. We performed multivariable logistic regression analyses of data for 1250 patients with traumatic SCIs that were included in the European Multicenter Study about Spinal Cord Injury. The resulting model was prospectively validated on data for 186 patients. As potential predictors, we evaluated age, sex, and variables from the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) and the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM), measured within 40 days of the injury. A positive outcome at 1 year post-SCI was assessed with item 7 of the SCIM. Results. The model relied on a single predictor, the ISNCSCI total motor score-that is, the sum of muscle strengths in 5 key muscle groups in each limb. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (aROC) was 0.837 (95% CI: 0.815-0.859). The prospective validation confirmed high predictive power: aROC = 0.817 (95% CI: 0.754-0.881). Conclusions. We generated a valid model for predicting independent, reliable bowel management at 1 year after traumatic SCI. Its application could improve counseling, optimize patient-tailored rehabilitation planning, and become crucial for appropriate patient stratification in future clinical trials.