Incidence and risk factors of pneumonia following acute traumatic cervical spinal cord Injury

Tetsuo Hayashi, Yuichi Fujiwara, Osamu Kawano, Yuzo Yamamoto, Kensuke Kubota, Hiroaki Sakai, Muneaki Masuda, Yuichiro Morishita, Kazu Kobayakawa, Kazuya Yokota, Hironari Kaneyama, Takeshi Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To elucidate the incidence and risk factors for pneumonia after acute traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI) Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Spinal injuries center in Japan. Participants: Of 184 individuals who were admitted within 2 weeks after acute traumatic cervical spinal injuries, 167 individuals who met the criteria were included in this study. Interventions: The occurrence of pneumonia, degree of dysphagia using the Dysphagia Severity Scale, patient age, history of smoking, presence of tracheostomy, vital capacity, level of injury, and the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) 2 weeks after injury were assessed. Outcomes: Incidence of pneumonia were analyzed. Moreover, the risk factors of pneumonia were evaluated using logistic regression analysis. Results: From the 167 individuals who met the criteria, 30 individuals (18%) had pneumonia; in 26 (87%) of these individuals, pneumonia was aspiration related, defined as Dysphagia Severity Scale ≤ 4. The median occurrence of aspiration pneumonia was 11.5 days after injury. A logistic regression analysis revealed that severe AIS and severe Dysphagia Severity Scale scores were significant risk factors of pneumonia after CSCI. Conclusions: It was highly likely that the pneumonias following CSCI were related to aspiration based on the Dysphagia Severity Scale. In addition, most of the patients developed aspiration pneumonia within 1 month after injury. Aspiration and severe paralysis were significant risk factors for pneumonia. The treatment of dysphagia in the acute phase should be considered an important indicator to prevent pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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