Cases reported "Spinal Cord Injuries"

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1/49. Prevention of human diaphragm atrophy with short periods of electrical stimulation.

    We determined whether prolonged complete inactivation of the human diaphragm results in atrophy and whether this could be prevented by brief periods of electrical phrenic nerve stimulation. We studied a subject with high spinal cord injury who required removal of his left phrenic nerve pacemaker (PNP) and the reinstitution of positive-pressure ventilation for 8 mo. During this time, the right phrenic nerve was stimulated 30 min per day. Thickness of each diaphragm (tdi) was determined by ultrasonography. Maximal tidal volume (VT) was measured during stimulation of each diaphragm separately. After left PNP reimplantation, VT and tdi were measured just before the resumption of electrical stimulation and serially for 33 wk. On the previously nonfunctioning side, there were substantial changes in VT (from 220 to 600 ml) and tdi (from 0.18 to 0.34 cm). On the side that had been stimulated, neither VT nor tdi changed appreciably (VT from 770 to 900 ml; tdi from 0.25 to 0.28 cm). We conclude that prolonged inactivation of the diaphragm causes atrophy which may be prevented by brief periods of daily phrenic nerve stimulation.
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2/49. Triplet pregnancy achieved through intracytoplasmic sperm injection with spermatozoa obtained by prostatic massage of a paraplegic patient: case report.

    Spinal cord-injured men with ejaculation disorders can have children thanks to assisted reproduction techniques. spermatozoa from these patients are usually obtained through vibratory stimulation, electroejaculation or by puncturing the seminal duct or the testicle. We present the first published case, as far as we are aware, of spermatozoa obtained through prostatic massage of a paraplegic patient. Penile vibratory stimulation was unsuccessful in this patient. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with spermatozoa obtained through electroejaculation was performed at another centre but pregnancy was not achieved. Through prostatic massage, we obtained a total semen volume of 6 ml containing a total count of 12.32x10(6) spermatozoa (6.24x10(6) with tails), 8% of which had motility (graded and ); and 16% of which had normal morphology. The spermatozoa obtained were then used to perform IVF with ICSI and a triplet pregnancy was achieved. Prostatic massage appears to be an easy, non-traumatic and risk-free method to obtain spermatozoa from paraplegic patients.
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3/49. Laparoscopic bladder auto-augmentation in an incomplete traumatic spinal cord injury.

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the urodynamic and clinical outcome of a laparoscopic auto-augmentated bladder. methods: Laparoscopic bladder autoaugmentation in a 27-year-old woman with an incomplete spinal cord injury at T12 level with urge incontinence caused by a hyperreflexic bladder. RESULTS: Six months later the patient voids by Valsalva's manoeuvre every 3 h and remains dry day and night. The radio-urodynamic study, performed 2 months later, revealed an intact bladder with a diverticulum of anterior wall and a capacity of 510 ml with filling rate of 100 ml/min without evidence of leakage of infusion water. CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic retropubic auto-augmentation allows a brief hospital stay and minor postoperative discomfort. Moreover the laparoscopic approach should not complicate or preclude subsequent enterocystoplasty if necessary.
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4/49. Forced oscillation technique to detect and monitor tracheal stenosis in a tetraplegic patient.

    STUDY DESIGN: A case report. Objectives: To demonstrate forced oscillation technique's (FOT) utility in a tetraplegic patient with tracheostenosis. SETTING: A rehabilitation Hospital, Brasilia, brazil. methods: Serial evaluations of spirometry, bronchoscopy and forced oscillation assessment. RESULTS: A 16-year-old male with C7 spinal cord injury, initially required mechanical ventilation and subsequent tracheostomy over a period of 4 weeks. Five months after the accident the onset of tracheostenosis was diagnosed. Flow-volume data were compatible with a fixed tracheal stenosis. FOT showed an obstructed pattern, manifested by high levels of resonance frequency and impedance. The FOT pattern returned to normal after dilatation. The FOT abnormalities recurred with two subsequent broncoscopicaly confirmed episodes of tracheal restenosis without parallel changes in spirometric parameters. CONCLUSION: This case suggests a role for FOT in the non invasive detection and follow up of tracheal stenosis. FOT may be particularly useful in tetraplegic patients, in whom the restriction from muscle weakness may make interpretation of forced expiratory flow-volume data problematic.
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5/49. Self-controlled dorsal penile nerve stimulation to inhibit bladder hyperreflexia in incomplete spinal cord injury: a case report.

    Intermittent catheterization is not always successful in achieving continence in spinal cord injury (SCI) and often requires adjunctive methods. electric stimulation of sacral afferent nerves reduces hyperactivity of the bladder. This report describes application of self-controlled dorsal penile nerve stimulation for bladder hyperreflexia in incomplete SCI. The patient was a 33-year-old man with C6 incomplete quadriplegia who managed his bladder with intermittent self-catheterization and medication. Despite this, he continued to have reflex bladder contractions that he could feel but could not catheterize himself in time to prevent incontinence. We performed cystometry with dorsal penile nerve stimulation and analyzed data of home use of stimulation. During cystometry, the suppressive effect of electric stimulation on hyperreflexic contractions was reliable and reproducible. The patient could start stimulation on sensing bladder contraction, and the suppression of reflex contraction lasted several minutes after stopping brief stimulation. When using stimulation at home, the rate of leakage between catheterization decreased, and catheterized volume increased significantly.
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6/49. spinal cord stimulation facilitates functional walking in a chronic, incomplete spinal cord injured.

    DESIGN: This paper describes a treatment paradigm to facilitate functional gait in a quadriplegic, asia C spinal cord injured (SCI), wheelchair-dependent subject who presented with some large fiber sensation, sub-functional motor strength in all lower limb muscles, and moderate spasticity. The study utilizes partial weight bearing therapy (PWBT) followed by epidural spinal cord stimulation (ESCS) with the assumption that both treatments would be necessary to elicit a well organized, near effortless functional gait with a walker. Function is defined in terms of accomplishing task-specific activities in the home and community. OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of combined PWBT and ESCS therapies aimed at promoting functional gait in a wheelchair-dependent asia C SCI subject. SETTING: The Clinical neurobiology and bioengineering research laboratories at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Phoenix, arizona, USA, and the Department of bioengineering, arizona State University, Tempe, arizona, USA. methods: The study began with the application of PWBT. The subject walked on the treadmill until a plateau in gait rhythm generation was reached. Subsequently, ESCS, applied to the lumbar enlargement, was utilized to facilitate PWBT and, later, over-ground walking for a standard distance of 15 m. gait performance was analyzed by measuring average speed, stepping symmetry, sense of effort, physical work capacity, and whole body metabolic activity. RESULTS: PWBT led to improved stereotypic stepping patterns associated with markedly reduced spasticity, but was insufficient for over-ground walking in terms of safety, energy cost, and fatigue. ESCS with PWBT generated immediate improvement in the subject's gait rhythm when appropriate stimulation parameters were used. When compared to the non-stimulated condition, over-ground walking with ESCS across a 15 m distance was featured by a reduction in time and energy cost of walking, sense of effort, and a feeling of 'lightness' in the legs. After a few months of training, performance in speed, endurance, and metabolic responses gradually converged with/without ESCS at this short distance, suggesting a learned response to these conditions. However, at longer distances (eg, 50-250 m), performance with ESCS was considerably superior. The subject was able to perform multiple functional tasks within the home and community with ESCS. CONCLUSION: We propose that ESCS augments the use-dependent plasticity created by PWBT and may be a valuable adjunct to post-SCI treadmill training in asia C subjects. We also conclude that ESCS elicits greater activation of an oxidative motor unit pool, thereby reducing the subject's sense of effort and energetic cost of walking.
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7/49. Pitfall in insertion of suprapubic catheter in patients with spinal cord injuries.

    OBJECTIVE: To report an unusual presentation of a misplaced suprapubic catheter (SPC) in a spinal cord injury (SCI) patient. DESIGN: A case report of a SCI patient in whom a SPC was 'partially misplaced' in an emergency. SETTING: london spinal injuries Unit, Stanmore, UK. SUBJECT: A 33-year-old man who sustained a C5 SCI in a road traffic accident 6 months ago. He had an indwelling urethral catheter, which blocked off and repeated attempts to reinsert another one per urethra were unsuccessful. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: A SPC was inserted in an emergency at the bedside, as he developed autonomic dysreflexia. The catheter initially drained clear urine but subsequently the flow became intermittent. He also started complaining of lower abdominal discomfort. RESULTS: The abdominal examination was unremarkable without signs of peritonism. An ultrasound scan of the abdomen revealed the eye of the catheter in the bladder but the balloon had been inflated in the subcutaneous tissues. It was reinserted under cystoscopic control in the operating theatre. CONCLUSION: The insertion of a SPC in a neuropathic patient can be a challenge even for an experienced urologist. As these patients often have small capacity bladders, the SPC should be inserted under cystoscopic control wherever possible. However if they are inserted blindly there should be a high index of suspicion for the potential complication of a misplaced catheter. The patient should undergo regular abdominal examination and an ultrasound scan should be performed as soon as possible for confirmation.
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8/49. phrenic nerve pacing in a tetraplegic patient via intramuscular diaphragm electrodes.

    In patients with ventilator-dependent tetraplegia, phrenic nerve pacing (PNP) provides significant clinical advantages compared with mechanical ventilation. This technique however generally requires a thoracotomy with its associated risks and in-patient hospital stay and carries some risk of phrenic nerve injury. We have developed a method by which the phrenic nerves can be activated via intramuscular diaphragm electrodes. In one patient with ventilator-dependent tetraplegia, two intramuscular diaphragm electrodes were implanted into each hemidiaphragm near the phrenic nerve motor points via laparoscopic surgery. The motor points were identified employing a previously devised mapping technique. Because inspired volumes were suboptimal on the right, a second laparoscopic procedure was necessary to position electrodes near the anterior and posterior branches of the right phrenic nerve. During bilateral stimulation, inspired volume was 580 ml. After a reconditioning program of progressively increasing diaphragm pacing, maximum inspired volumes on the left and right hemidiaphragms increased significantly. Maximum combined bilateral stimulation was 1120 ml. Importantly, the patient has been able to comfortably tolerate full-time pacing. If confirmed in additional patients, PNP with intramuscular diaphragm electrodes via laparoscopic surgery may provide a less invasive and less costly alternative to conventional PNP.
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9/49. Bladder stones - red herring for resurgence of spasticity in a spinal cord injury patient with implantation of Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal delivery of baclofen - a case report.

    BACKGROUND: Increased spasms in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, whose spasticity was previously well controlled with intrathecal baclofen therapy, are due to (in order of frequency) drug tolerance, increased stimulus, low reservoir volume, catheter malfunction, disease progression, human error, and pump mechanical failure. We present a SCI patient, in whom bladder calculi acted as red herring for increased spasticity whereas the real cause was spontaneous extrusion of catheter from intrathecal space. CASE PRESENTATION: A 44-year-old male sustained a fracture of C5/6 and incomplete tetraplegia at C-8 level. Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal baclofen therapy was implanted 13 months later to control severe spasticity. The tip of catheter was placed at T-10 level. The initial dose of baclofen was 300 micrograms/day of baclofen, administered by a simple continuous infusion. During a nine-month period, he required increasing doses of baclofen (875 micrograms/day) to control spasticity. X-ray of abdomen showed multiple radio opaque shadows in the region of urinary bladder. No malfunction of the pump was detected. Therefore, increased spasticity was attributed to bladder stones. Electrohydraulic lithotripsy of bladder stones was carried out successfully. Even after removal of bladder stones, this patient required further increases in the dose of intrathecal baclofen (950, 1050, 1200 and then 1300 micrograms/day). Careful evaluation of pump-catheter system revealed that the catheter had extruded spontaneously and was lying in the paraspinal space at L-4, where the catheter had been anchored before it entered the subarachnoid space. A new catheter was passed into the subarachnoid space and the tip of catheter was located at T-8 level. The dose of intrathecal baclofen was decreased to 300 micrograms/day. CONCLUSION: Vesical calculi acted as red herring for resurgence of spasticity. The real cause for increased spasms was spontaneous extrusion of whole length of catheter from subarachnoid space. Repeated bending forwards and straightening of torso for pressure relief and during transfers from wheel chair probably contributed to spontaneous extrusion of catheter from spinal canal in this patient.
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10/49. A catheter based method to activate urethral sensory nerve fibers.

    PURPOSE: The ability to control bladder activity would provide a valuable tool to assist individuals with neurological disorders or spinal cord injury (SCI). Recent studies in animal models have shown that bladder contractions can be evoked by electrical stimulation of urethral afferent nerves. We developed and validated in cats a minimally invasive method to stimulate electrically the sensory nerve fibers that innervate the urethra. MATERIALS AND methods: The urethra was stimulated electrically along its length via a catheter mounted circumferential electrode in 6 cats. The urethra was similarly stimulated in a male individual with complete SCI. RESULTS: Robust bladder contractions were generated via intraurethral electrical stimulation in all cat experiments. Peak responses were obtained in the proximal and prostatic urethra. In the individual with SCI bladder contractions were generated via intraurethral stimulation at a position 4 cm distal to the bladder. Responses in cats and the human depended on bladder volume. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this study provides the first documentation of generating bladder contractions via intraurethral electrical stimulation in cats and humans. This method provides a research tool for future studies to investigate these pathways in humans. Preliminary human results suggest that urethral afferent mediated neural pathways demonstrated in animal models exist in humans and support the development of neural prostheses using electrical stimulation of these nerves to restore control of bladder function in individuals with neurological disorders or SCI.
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