Therapeutic model for experimental spinal cord injury in the rat: I. Mortality and motor deficit

Cent Nerv Syst Trauma. 1987;4(3):149-59. doi: 10.1089/cns.1987.4.149.


In the course of establishing a therapeutic model for experimental spinal cord injury in the rat, we determined the effects of trauma dose (20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 g-cm) on the mortality and motor deficit in the 4 weeks following injury. Mortality was dependent upon the trauma dose: 20 g-cm, 11%; 30 g-cm, 14%; 40 g-cm, 27%; 50 g-cm, 32%; 60 g-cm, 41%. Statistical analysis by linear regression is highly significant for increasing mortality with increasing trauma dose. The motor deficit determined by a modified Tarlov scale also was dependent upon trauma dose. A trauma dose-response curve based on this study indicates that a drug which reduces the motor deficit from that found at 40 g-cm to that at 30 g-cm may be detected at a significant level of 0.05 with a power of 0.8 if 30 rats are included in each of placebo and treated groups. The same sample size would detect a significant reduction of mortality from that of 40 g-cm to 30 g-cm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Locomotion
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology
  • Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / mortality
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Time Factors