Persistent Outpatient Hypertension Is Independently Associated with Spinal Cord Dysfunction and Imaging Characteristics of Spinal Cord Damage among Patients with Cervical Spondylosis

Samuel Kalb, Hasan A. Zaidi, Juan C. Ribas-Nijkerk, Maughan K. Sindhwani, Justin C. Clark, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Nicholas Theodore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Hypertension and cervical spondylosis are diseases of the adult population that are approaching near pandemic proportions. However, the interactions between these two disease processes are poorly understood. We set out to determine the associations among systemic hypertension, clinical status, and imaging findings of spinal cord damage for patients with cervical stenosis. Methods A retrospective chart review was performed on patients with symptomatic cervical stenosis related to degenerative disease and divided on the basis of outpatient blood pressure control (normal <140/<90 mm Hg). Sagittal T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine was analyzed to determine the degree of maximal canal stenosis (MCS; %), surface area of increased signal intensity (ISI; cm2), and signal intensity ratio (SIR). Functional status was evaluated using the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale and the Nurick scale. Results One hundred twenty-two patients were identified (64 hypertensive, 58 nonhypertensive). Likelihood of ISI was higher in hypertensive patients (P < 0.05). Average ISI was significantly higher in patients with uncontrolled blood pressure (P = 0.02) despite MCS being identical between the two groups. The mJOA and Nurick scores were worse for patients with systemic hypertension (P < 0.02). Diabetes mellitus and smoking history did not affect these findings. Conclusions Persistent hypertension in outpatients is associated with worsened clinical status and increased markers of spinal cord damage on MRI. Perioperative management of blood pressure may serve to improve clinical outcomes. Larger prospective trials are necessary to further validate these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cervical stenosis
  • Hypertension
  • Nurick scale
  • Signal intensity
  • Stenosis
  • Surface area
  • mJOA scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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