The acute phase management of spinal cord injury affecting polytrauma patients: the ASAP study

Edoardo Picetti, Corrado Iaccarino, Raul Coimbra, Fikri Abu-Zidan, Giovanni D. Tebala, Zsolt J. Balogh, Walter L. Biffl, Federico Coccolini, Deepak Gupta, Ronald V. Maier, Ingo Marzi, Chiara Robba, Massimo Sartelli, Franco Servadei, Philip F. Stahel, Fabio S. Taccone, Andreas W. Unterberg, Marta Velia Antonini, Joseph M. Galante, Luca AnsaloniAndrew W. Kirkpatrick, Sandro Rizoli, Ari Leppaniemi, Osvaldo Chiara, Belinda De Simone, Mircea Chirica, Vishal G. Shelat, Gustavo P. Fraga, Marco Ceresoli, Luca Cattani, Francesco Minardi, Edward Tan, Imtiaz Wani, Massimo Petranca, Francesco Domenichelli, Yunfeng Cui, Laura Malchiodi, Emanuele Sani, Andrey Litvin, Andreas Hecker, Vito Montanaro, Solomon Gurmu Beka, Salomone Di Saverio, Sandra Rossi, Fausto Catena

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Few data on the management of acute phase of traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) in patients suffering polytrauma are available. As the therapeutic choices in the first hours may have a deep impact on outcome of tSCI patients, we conducted an international survey investigating this topic. Methods: The survey was composed of 29 items. The main endpoints of the survey were to examine: (1) the hemodynamic and respiratory management, (2) the coagulation management, (3) the timing of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spinal surgery, (4) the use of corticosteroid therapy, (5) the role of intraspinal pressure (ISP)/spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) monitoring and (6) the utilization of therapeutic hypothermia. Results: There were 171 respondents from 139 centers worldwide. A target mean arterial pressure (MAP) target of 80–90 mmHg was chosen in almost half of the cases [n = 84 (49.1%)]. A temporary reduction in the target MAP, for the time strictly necessary to achieve bleeding control in polytrauma, was accepted by most respondents [n = 100 (58.5%)]. Sixty-one respondents (35.7%) considered acceptable a hemoglobin (Hb) level of 7 g/dl in tSCI polytraumatized patients. An arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) of 80–100 mmHg [n = 94 (55%)] and an arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) of 35–40 mmHg [n = 130 (76%)] were chosen in most cases. A little more than half of respondents considered safe a platelet (PLT) count > 100.000/mm3 [n = 99 (57.9%)] and prothrombin time (PT)/activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) < 1.5 times the normal control [n = 85 (49.7%)] in patients needing spinal surgery. MRI [n = 160 (93.6%)] and spinal surgery [n = 158 (92.4%)] should be performed after intracranial, hemodynamic, and respiratory stabilization by most respondents. Corticosteroids [n = 103 (60.2%)], ISP/SCPP monitoring [n = 148 (86.5%)], and therapeutic hypothermia [n = 137 (80%)] were not utilized by most respondents. Conclusions: Our survey has shown a great worldwide variability in clinical practices for acute phase management of tSCI patients with polytrauma. These findings can be helpful to define future research in order to optimize the care of patients suffering tSCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Management
  • Polytrauma
  • Traumatic spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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