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JSCM Publishes Revised International Standards For Neurological Classification Of Spinal Cord Injury

December 29, 2011

Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine publishes 2011 standards that guide consistent classification of spinal cord injuries in care and research

The 2011 revision of the International Standards for the Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) was published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. The accompanying reference article by Steven Kirshblum et al clarifies the modifications to this newest revision. Both are available for free download via http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/scm (#6, Nov 2011).

ISNCSCI are the recommended guidelines for the consistent classification of the neurological level and extent of injury to achieve reliable data for clinical care and research studies in spinal cord injury.

Classification is based on systematic sensory and motor examination of dermatomes and myotomes to determine the spinal cord segments that are injured. Following ISNCSCI guidelines yields the sensory and motor levels of injury (right and left), the neurological level of injury (NLI), sensory scores (pin prick & light touch), motor scores (upper and lower limbs) and the zone of partial preservation (ZPP). The ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS) classifies the severity, or completeness, of injury.

ISNCSCI is used to assess prognosis and measure recovery and results of rehabilitation interventions and experimental therapies. This 2011 revision was generated by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) in collaboration with the International Spinal Cord Society. Because of the importance of global dissemination of ISNCSCI to professionals in spinal cord injury care and research, the 2011 revised ISNSCI and reference article are freely available via ingentaconnect.com.

First developed by ASIA in 1982, the widespread and consistent use of ISNCSCI’s precisely defined classifications has facilitated clinical care as well as research in spinal cord medicine. ISNSCI is revised periodically to reflect advances in understanding of the neurological effects of spinal cord injury, and to ensure reliability and validity of the guidelines.

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