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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Cardiac arrhythmias six months following traumatic spinal cord injury

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias at six months following traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and to compare the prevalence of arrhythmias between participants with cervical and thoracic SCI.

DESIGN: A prospective observational study using continuous twenty-four-hour Holter monitoring.

SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation unit of a university research hospital and patient home setting.

PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-five participants with acute traumatic SCI were prospectively included. For each participant, the SCI was characterized according to the International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI by the neurological level and severity according to the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Comparisons between demographic characteristics and arrhythmogenic occurrences as early as possible after SCI (4 ± 2 days) followed by 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks and 6 month time points of Holter monitoring.

RESULTS: Bradycardia (heart rate [HR] <50 bpm) was present in 29% and 33% of the participants with cervical (C1-C8) and thoracic (T1-T12) SCI six months after SCI, respectively. The differences in episodes of bradycardia between the two groups were not significant (P < 0.54). The mean maximum HR increased significantly from 4 weeks to 6 months post-SCI (P < 0.001), however mean minimum and maximum HR were not significantly different between the groups at the six-month time point. There were no differences in many arrhythmias between recording periods or between groups at six months.

CONCLUSIONS: At the six-month timepoint following traumatic SCI, there were no significant differences in occurrences of arrhythmias between participants with cervical and thoracic SCI compared to the findings observed in the first month following SCI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume45
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)631-637
Number of pages7
ISSN1079-0268
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac/epidemiology, Bradycardia, Humans, Prospective Studies, Spinal Cord Injuries/complications, Spinal Injuries

ID: 68414425