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The prevalence of neuropathic pain after non-traumatic spinal cord lesion.

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      Study design:Retrospective register study.Objective:To investigate the predictive value of the following parameters for the development of neuropathic pain after non-traumatic spinal cord lesion: that is age at onset of spinal cord disease, gender, completeness of lesion, level of lesion, and aetiology.Setting:A unit for patients with post-acute traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord lesions in the greater area of Stockholm, Sweden.Method:All patients with non-traumatic spinal cord lesions visiting the unit between 1995 and 2000 were classified according to the following: that is neuropathic pain at or below lesion level according to IASP criteria, age at time of the onset of the spinal cord symptoms, injury level, complete/incomplete injury, and aetiology. Results were analysed with χ2 – analysis and logistic regression.Results:In total, 38% had neuropathic pain, 15% had pain predominantly at the level of lesion, and 23% predominantly below the level of lesion. Of those with pain, 67% reported that the pain affected daily life. Women reported neuropathic pain below the level of lesion more often (40%) than men (13%). The prevalence was particularly high (64%) for patients with malignant spinal cord diseases. Neither age at onset of the spinal cord symptoms, nor complete/incomplete injury nor injury level had significant influence on the prevalence.Conclusion:Neuropathic pain is common among patients with acquired non-traumatic spinal cord lesions regardless of aetiology, often causing severe problems in daily life.Spinal Cord (2007) 45, 609–615; doi:10.1038/sj.sc.3102000; published online 12 December 2006 [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]