European multicenter study about spinal cord injury (EMSCI)


Multi –centre  research collaboration for spinal cord injury.

Naveen Kumar (Principle Investigator), Joy Chowdhury, Aheed Osman, Mr S Budithi, Jayne Edwards (Research Nurse) Raj Gilla (Research Physiotherapist) and Amy Lewis (Physiotherapist).   

Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI), Oswestry.

Work continues EUROPEAN MULTICENTER STUDY ABOUT SPINAL CORD INJURY.  The National SCI database made it easier to follow up patients from diagnosis through all the defined SCI Pathways. International validated outcome measures such as ISNCSCI and SCIM III, which are performed on admission, during rehabilitation, at discharge and the following discharge when the patient is picked up for their long-term follow-up. This information has been extremely useful for benchmarking the SCI centres based on validated outcome measures, and aids service development.

Historically there has been limited clinical and research collaboration between UK Centres. The feasibility of establishing a UK Spinal Injuries Research Network is being investigated with ISRT support (UKSCIRN). 6 UK Centres have now joined EMSCI, the first multicentre study involving so many specialized UK Centres. All approvals for these Centres to take part in EMSCI are in place.

Patients with acute traumatic spinal cord injury are tested and documented within a fixed time schedule (acute, 4, 12, 24 and 48 weeks) after spinal cord injury and must comply with clearly defined inclusion criteria.  The examinations consist of a standard set of neurological and functional assessments.  The collected data from each Centre is sent to the coordinating Centre (Zurich) at regular time intervals to be joined into a central database. The establishment of combined clinical and functional measures for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of spinal cord function in patients with SCI at different stages during rehabilitation represents a basic requirement to monitor any significant effect of a new treatment.  Therefore, several European paraplegic centres involved in the rehabilitation of acute traumatic SCI patients build up a close collaboration for standardized assessment.  The aim is to get knowledge about the natural recorder after spinal cord lesion in a larger population of patients in the sense of a historical control group.

Predicted recruitment for RJAH is 5 per year. Since MCSI joined an internationally recognized and scientifically successful clinical spinal cord injury network in May 2018, the MCSI team have recruited  22 patient for the EMSCI study, 11 have completed,5 lost to follow up, and six remain in follow up.

Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries based at RJAH Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Oswestry already a centre of excellence was established as first and only SCI centre in the UK with an “ ACTIVE CENTRE” status (EMSCI Newsletter No 27; page 18; publication dated September 2019; European Multicenter Study about Spinal Cord Injury Network, https://www.emsci.org/index.php/members). 

Picture that shows MCSI Research team ( Mr Naveen Kuamar, Mr Rajesh Gilla ) with EMSCI investigators involved in various spinal research projects within the EMSCI network