Experimental spinal cord trauma. II. Blood flow, tissue oxygen, evoked potentials in both paretic and plegic monkeys

T. B. Ducker, M. Salcman, J. T. Lucas, W. B. Garrison, P. L. Perot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Graded clinical motor deficits were produced in a series of Rhesus monkeys subjected to experimental spinal cord trauma from a variety of impact loads. An argon washout technique was used to measure spinal cord blood flow; tissue oxygen carbon dioxide, and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were also monitored. Each animal received a clinical grade and, after a week of study, the spinal cords were removed for histopathological grading. Blood flow in paraplegic animals was significantly decreased at two hours and seven days following injury (5ml/min/100 gms tissue); paraparetic animals showed significant diffference from preinjury levels (14ml/min/100 gms tissue). Animals which completely recovered demonstrated increased flow (27ml/min/100 gms tissue). Composite tissue oxygen was generally depressed in paraplegic animals (28mm Hg/kg) but showed no clear pattern in other groups. Only 8% of monkeys rendered paraplagic preserved a somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) at five minutes after injury. Paraparetic animals were more likely (40%) to show initial preservation of the SEP and in normal animals, the SEP always returned by three hours. Histopathological grading tended to parallel clinical grading in 92% of the cases. Although the extremes of possible postinjury deficits (complete paraplegia or recovery) can be predicted from a combination of these measurements, incomplete lesions (whether judged clinically or pathologically) present a more variable picture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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