SCI-POEM finishes patient recruitment

The AO Spine Europe-sponsored SCI-POEM study enrolls 309 patients; 19 clinics across Europe participate.

28 February 2019

PI Allard Hosman and Co-PI Henk van de Meent at the Hospital Radboud University Medical Center

PI Allard Hosman and Co-PI Henk van de Meent at the Hospital Radboud University Medical Center

The AO Spine Europe-sponsored prospective, multicenter study compares the effectiveness of early decompression of the spine to late decompression, in terms of improving lower extremity neurological motor outcomes for traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) patients. The number of patients with decompression within 12 hours of the tSCI was much higher than expected and the rate of over 45% speaks well for European trauma care. On the other hand, delays caused by logistics or lack of resources were frequent and show better resource planning is needed.

Often, tSCI has severe permanent consequences and strategies to improve outcomes are needed. Surgical decompression is considered a valid approach, but conclusive data on best timing are missing. Nearly two third of the cases included in the study had an incomplete spinal cord lesion, which highlights the relevance of appropriate and timely treatment.

A team effort beyond surgery

The study—Prognostic Factors and Therapeutic Effects of Surgical Treatment for Traumatic Spinal Column Injury with Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective, Observational European Multicenter Study (SCI-POEM)—was initiated in 2011. Principal Investigator (PI) Allard Hosman thanks the Co-PIs Giuseppe Barbagallo and Joost van Middendorp, AO Spine Europe, the 19 participating centers, and the AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation (AOCID) team for their commitment. "Their dedication is key to our success."

Hosman emphasizes the importance of acute spine units and calls for better trauma protocols, hoping the results of SCI-POEM will promote a higher standard of care for tSCI patients. 

"One outcome will surely be the awareness that patients benefit most from a dedicated team effort," Hosman says. "The chain of dedication should extend beyond surgery, the acute phase and timing of an intervention, and cover also prevention, education, and management of logistical issues such as safety, ambulance services, and availability of staff."

The AO Spine SCI-POEM study is sponsored by AO Spine Europe and executed with support from AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation . Results are expected to be published in 2020.

Participating clinics:

Ospedale Maggiore, Bologna, Italy
"Prof. Dr. N. Oblu” Emergency Hospital, Iasi, Romania
Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria
Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik, Ludwigshafen, Germany
University Medical Center St. Radboud, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Queen's Medical Centre Campus, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Policlinico Umberto Primo, Rome, Italy
National Institute of emergency medicine "N.I. Pirogov", Sofia, Bulgaria
University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Teaching Hospital Sisters of Charity, Zagreb, Croatia
Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Montecatone Rehabilitation Institute, Imola, Italy
Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Clinical Center Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia
Gazi University, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik, Frankfurt, Germany
Hôpital Pierre Wertheimer, Lyon, France

Read more about AO Spine Research 

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