Early predictors of developing problematic spasticity following traumatic spinal cord injury: A prospective cohort study.
To identify early predictors and develop reliable, validated prediction models for development of problematic spasticity after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Prospective cohort study of the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR), retrospective review of inpatient medical charts. Quaternary trauma center, rehabilitation center, community settings. Individuals with traumatic SCI between March 1, 2005, and March 31, 2014, prospectively enrolled in the Vancouver site RHSCIR. None. Spasticity limiting function or requiring treatment (problematic spasticity) on the Spinal Cord Injury Health Questionnaire. In 350 patients, variables documented during hospitalization that predicted the development of problematic spasticity up to 5 years post-injury included: initial Glasgow Coma Scale; age at time of injury; admission to rehabilitation center; community discharge anti-spasticity medication prescription, neurological status, Penn Spasm Frequency Scale, and pain interference with quality of life, sleep, activities; greater change in AIS motor scores between admission and discharge. The predictive models had area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.80 (95% CI 0.75, 0.85) in the development set ( = 244) and 0.84 (95% CI 0.74, 0.92) in the validation set ( = 106) for spasticity limiting function and 0.81 (95% CI 0.76, 0.85) in the development set and 0.85 (95% CI 0.77, 0.92) in the validation set for spasticity requiring treatment. Our prediction models provide an early prognosis of risk of developing problematic spasticity after traumatic SCI, which can be used to improve clinical spasticity management and assist research (e.g. risk stratification in interventional trials).