Axonal degeneration and demyelination following traumatic spinal cord injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis
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The pathophysiology of spinal cord injury (SCI) related processes of axonal degeneration and demyelination are poorly understood. The present systematic review and meta-analysis were performed such to establish quantitative results of animal studies regarding the role of injury severity, SCI models and level of injury on the pathophysiology of axon and myelin sheath degeneration. 39 related articles were included in the analysis. The compiled data showed that the total number of axons, number of myelinated axons, myelin sheath thickness, axonal conduction velocity, and internode length steadily decreased as time elapsed from the injury (P<sub>for trend</sub><0.0001). The rate of axonal retrograde degeneration was affected by SCI model and severity of the injury. Axonal degeneration was higher in injuries of the thoracic region. The SCI model and the site of the injury also affected axonal retrograde degeneration. The number of myelinated axons in the caudal region of the injury was significantly higher than the lesion site and the rostral region. The findings of the present meta-analysis show that the pathophysiology of axons and myelin sheath differ in various phases of SCI and are affected by multiple factors related to the injury.<br/>Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V.