Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Sep;93(9):1578-87. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.04.033.

Cardiovascular status of individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury from 7 NeuroRecovery Network rehabilitation centers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-6018, USA.



To examine cardiovascular (CV) health in a large cohort of individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). The CV health parameters of patients were compared based on American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS), neurologic level, sex, central cord syndrome, age, time since injury, Neuromuscular Recovery Scale, and total AIS motor score.


Cross-sectional study.


Seven outpatient rehabilitation clinics.


Individuals (N=350) with incomplete AIS classification C and D were included in this analysis.


Not applicable.


Heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure during resting sitting and supine positions and after an orthostatic challenge.


CV parameters were highly variable and significantly differed based on patient position. Neurologic level (cervical, high and low thoracic) and age were most commonly associated with CV parameters where patients classified at the cervical level had the lowest resting CV parameters. After the orthostatic challenge, blood pressure was highest for the low thoracic group, and heart rate for the high thoracic group was higher. Time since SCI was negatively related to blood pressure at rest but not after orthostatic challenge. Men exhibited higher systolic blood pressure than women and lower heart rate. The prevalence of orthostatic hypotension (OH) was 21% and was related to the total motor score and resting seated blood pressures. Cervical injuries had the highest prevalence.


Resting CV parameters of blood pressure and heart rate are affected by position, age, and neurologic level. OH is more prevalent in cervical injuries, those with lower resting blood pressures and who are lower functioning. Results from this study provide reference for CV parameters for individuals with incomplete SCI. Future research is needed on the impact of exercise on CV parameters.

Copyright © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk