Experimental studies on spinal cord (SC) injuries published from 1975 to 1989 in some of the most widely circulating neurosurgical journals were reviewed. The relatively large number of animal species utilized as well as the intensely variable dynamic or static methods employed to induce SC injury represent elements of confusion more than objective necessities in this field of research. In fact, the objective of SC injury research should be to solve the problem of severe SC injuries by either preventing and/or repairing SC damage, rather than looking for modalities to provoke a large spectrum of SC injuries with the result of establishing a correlation between for example, the clinical picture and trauma magnitude. It should be time to study all variables and treatments mainly in only one experimental model. The rat with a permanent paraplegia should represent such a model; the abdominal aorta occlusion for 45 minutes, distal to the renal arteries in rabbits should be the experimental model of choice for ischaemia. If a significant result, such as reversing permanent paraplegia, were obtained in rats, it would be logical to repeat the study in higher mammals and if successful, in humans. For the last decade of this century it is necessary to further study all the mechanisms implied in secondary SC damage as well as to attempt to repair definitive SC damage by using grafts and enhancing the potential regenerative ability of the SC with known and new growth factors. Presently, methylprednisolone, dexametasone, thiopental, naloxone, and hypothermia seem to have some clinical potentials that require studies in humans.
- Spinal Cord
- Spinal Cord Injuries