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Comparison of Neurological and Functional Outcomes After Administration of Granulocyte-Colony-Stimulating Factor in Motor-Complete Versus Motor-Incomplete Postrehabilitated, Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries: A Phase I/II Study

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Granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a major growth factor in the activation and differentiation of granulocytes. This cytokine has been widely and safely employed in different disease conditions over many years. The administration of the growth factors in spinal cord injury (SCI) has been reported elsewhere; here we have tried to see the effect of SCI severity on the neurological outcomes after neuroprotective treatment for SCI with G-CSF. Seventy-four consecutive patients with SCI of at least 6 months’ duration, with stable neurological status in the last 3 months, having informed consent for the treatment were included in the study. All the patients had undergone at least 3 months of standard rehabilitation. Patients were assessed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale, Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) III, and International Association of Neurorestoratology-Spinal Cord Injury Functional Rating Scale (IANR-SCIFRS) just before intervention and periodically until 6 months after subcutaneous administration of 5 µg/kg per day of G-CSF for 7 consecutive days. Multiple linear regression models were performed for statistical evaluation of lesion completeness and level of injury on changes in ASIA motor, light touch, pinprick, IANR-SCIFRS, and SCIM III scores, as a phase I/II comparative study. The study consisted of 52 motor-complete and 22 motor-incomplete SCI patients. There was no significant difference regarding age and sex, chronicity, and level of SCI between the two groups. Motor-incomplete patients had significantly more improvement in ASIA motor score compared to the motor-complete patients (7.68 scores, p < 0.001); also they had significant improvement in light touch (6.42 scores, p = 0.003) and pinprick sensory scores (4.89 scores, p = 0.011). Therefore, G-CSF administration in motor-incomplete SCIs is associated with significantly higher motor improvement, and also the higher the initial ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS) grade, the less would be the final AIS change, and incomplete cases are more welcome into the future studies. This manuscript is published as part of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) special issue of Cell Transplantation.
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Keywords: Granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF); Neurological restoration; Spinal cord injury (SCI)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 31 December 2014

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