The microanatomy of spinal cord injury: A review

Martin M. Mortazavi, Ketan Verma, Olivia A. Harmon, Christoph J. Griessenauer, Nimer Adeeb, Nicholas Theodore, R. Shane Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Spinal cord injury is a highly prevalent condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The pathophysiology underlying it is extraordinarily complex and still not completely understood. We performed a comprehensive literature review of the pathophysiologic processes underlying spinal cord injury. The mechanisms underlying primary and secondary spinal cord injury are distinguished based on a number of factors and include the initial mechanical injury force, the vascular supply of the spinal cord which is associated with spinal cord perfusion, spinal cord autoregulation, and post-traumatic ischemia, and a complex inflammatory cascade involving local and infiltrating immunomodulating cells. This review illustrates the current literature regarding the pathophysiology behind spinal cord injury and outlines potential therapeutic options for reversing these mechanisms. Clin. Anat. 28:27-36, 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • compromise
  • inflammation
  • injury
  • mechanisms
  • spinal cord
  • therapy
  • vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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