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      Neuropathic pain after traumatic spinal cord injury--relations to gender, spinal level, completeness, and age at the time of injury.

      Spinal cord

      Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Chronic Disease, Confidence Intervals, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Incidence, Injury Severity Score, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Neuralgia, diagnosis, epidemiology, etiology, Odds Ratio, Pain Measurement, Paraplegia, physiopathology, Probability, Quadriplegia, Registries, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Sex Distribution, Spinal Cord Injuries, complications, Adolescent

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          Retrospective register study. To investigate the predictive value of age at the time of injury, gender, level of injury, and completeness of injury for the development of at level and below level neuropathic pain. "Spinalis", a postacute spinal cord injury (SCI) outpatient clinic, serving the greater Stockholm area (Sweden). All patients who visited the clinic in 1995-2000 (402 patients) for the first time were examined. The following items were selected: at-level and below-level neuropathic pain according to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) criteria, age at the time of injury, gender, level of injury according to ASIA, and completeness of injury. Mean time of 6 years after the injury. Results were analysed with chi(2) analysis and logistic regression. Of all patients examined, 13% had at level pain and 27% had below level pain. Neuropathic pain was less than half as frequent (26%) in the group aged less than 20 years at the time of injury as in the oldest group (58%). The increasing trend was mainly due to below-level pain up to 39 years of age, and due to at-level pain at ages 40 and above at the time of injury. No correlation was observed to gender, level of injury or completeness of injury, except for below level pain, which was associated with complete injury. The results show that neuropathic pain after SCI is common and occurs much more often in patients injured at higher ages. This indicates the importance of neuroanalgetic intervention, in particular for patients injured in higher ages.

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