Document Type: Review Article



Objective: To estimate the summation of mortality rate and the contributing factors in patients with traumatic thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries (TLSCI).Methods: A systematic search of observational studies that evaluated the mortality associated with TLSCI in MEDLINE and EMBASE was conducted. The study quality was evaluated using a modified quality assessment tool previously designed for observational studies.Results: Twenty-four observational studies involving 11,205 patients were included, published between January 1, 1997, and February 6, 2016. Ten studies were of high quality, thirteen were of moderate quality, and one study was of low quality. Seventeen reports described risk factors for mortality and eleven of these studies used a multiple regression models to adjust for confounders.The reported mortality rate ranged from 0 to 37.7% overall and between 0 and 10.4% in-hospital. The sum of mortality for in-hospital, 6-month, and 12-month were 5.2%, 26.12%, 4.3%, respectively. The mortality at 7.7 years follow-up was 10.07% and for 14 years follow-up reports ranged from 13.47% to 21.46%. Associated data such as age at injury, male to female ratio, pre-existing comorbidities, concomitant injuries, duration of follow-up, and cause of death have been underreported in studies investigating the mortality rate after TLSCI.Conclusion: Currently no study has accurately assessed mortality in the thoracolumbar spine, while there is general agreement that traumatic thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries are important.


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