Increased susceptibility of patients with cervical cord lesions to peptic gastrointestinal complications

C. A. Soderstrom, T. B. Ducker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The incidence and risk factors in the development of hemorrhaging and perforating gastrointestinal (GI) lesions in 408 patients with cervical column/cord injury were studied retrospectively. Most injuries were caused by blunt trauma (94.1%). Male patients predominated (83.6%); the mean patient age was 35.8 years. Of the 408 patients, 190 (46.6%) had complete cord deficits, 111 (27.2%) had incomplete deficits, and 107 (26.2%) were intact. Admission shock (systolic BP < 100 mm Hg) was present in 31.6% and 20.7% of patients with complete and incomplete lesions, respectively, and in 4.7% of those intact. Patients with complete deficits received corticosteroids for 2 days; patients with incomplete deficits received them for 7 to 10 days. Eleven of the 107 intact patients (10.3%) received steroids. All patients received standard antacid therapy. Nine patients without previous GI disease developed peptic ulcerations: 6 gastric and 3 duodenal lesions (6 were perforated) that required surgical intervention; all occurred in patients with complete deficits. Both the 4.7% incidence of the lesions in those patients compared with the other victims of cervical trauma and an estimated 0.1% incidence among more than 6,000 other seriously injured patients are significant (p < 0.005, p < 0.001). Steroids were not an ulcerogenic factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1038
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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