for people ages 17 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Sanjay Dhall, MD



This multicenter study will enroll 100 patients with acute traumatic cervical and thoracic SCI who have a lumbar intrathecal catheter inserted within 24 hours of their injury. The lumbar intrathecal catheter will be inserted pre-operatively for the measurement of ITP and the collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. SCPP will be calculated as the difference between MAP and the ITP. There are two important distinct yet related objectives in this prospective interventional study. 1. Determine the effect of SCPP maintenance ≥ 65 mmHg in acute SCI on neurologic recovery as measured by ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS) grade conversion and motor score improvement. 2. Collect CSF and blood samples for the measurement of neurochemical biomarkers and storage for future biomarker discovery and validation studies.


Objective 1. To determine if actively maintaining an SCPP of at least 65 mmHg with a combination of MAP augmentation and CSF drainage promotes better neurologic recovery than routine hemodynamic management that focuses solely on MAP augmentation. Objective 2. To determine if actively maintaining an SCPP of at least 65 mmHg with a combination of MAP augmentation and CSF drainage will allow for a reduction in the usage of vasopressors in acute SCI. Objective 3. To determine the feasibility of draining CSF to reduce ITP in the acute post-injury setting, when the cord may be swollen against the dura causing subarachnoid space occlusion at the injury site. Objective 4. To determine if there are complications associated with the installation of the intrathecal catheter and drainage of CSF in the acute SCI patient.


Acute Spinal Cord Injury Acute Spinal Paralysis Spinal Cord Injuries SPINAL Fracture SCI Spinal Cord Injury CSF Biomarker CSF pressure Traumatic SCI Perfusion pressure Paralysis Wounds and Injuries Spinal Fractures SCPP Management => 65 mmHg SCP Pressure Management


You can join if…

Open to people ages 17 years and up

  • Male or Female ≥ 17 (or the provincial age of majority - depending on local REB guidelines)
  • Complete (AIS A) or incomplete (AIS B, C) acute traumatic spinal cord injury.
  • Bony spinal levels between C0 and T12 inclusive.
  • Blunt (non-penetrating) spinal cord injury treated either surgically or non-surgically
  • Lumbar intrathecal catheter to be inserted as part of clinical hemodynamic management within 24 hours of injury

You CAN'T join if...

  • Motor incomplete spinal cord injury AIS D (i.e. at least half (half or more) of the key muscle functions below the neurological level of injury (NLI) have a muscle grade greater than or equal to 3/5)
  • Spinal cord injury with sensory deficit only (i.e. no motor deficit)
  • Penetrating spinal cord injury (including gunshot wounds)
  • Isolated radiculopathy
  • Isolated cauda equina injury or spinal injury below L1
  • Associated injury (soft tissue or bony) to the lumbar spine where the intrathecal catheter would be placed
  • Associated traumatic conditions that would interfere with the outcome assessment (e.g., traumatic brain injury, chest, pelvis, abdomen, or femur injury requiring operative intervention)
  • Pre-existing neurodegenerative disorder, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Pre-existing thromboembolic disease or coagulopathy, such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease
  • Presence of systemic disease that might interfere with patient safety, compliance or evaluation of the condition under study (e.g., clinically significant cardiac disease, HIV, Hep B or C) HTLV-1
  • Pre-existing inflammatory or autoimmune disorder (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, psoriasis, or ankylosing spondylitis
  • Any other medical condition that in the investigator's opinion would render the protocol procedures dangerous or impair the ability of the patient to receive protocol therapy
  • Female patients who are pregnant


  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center not yet accepting patients
    San Francisco California 94110 United States
  • University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center not yet accepting patients
    Albuquerque New Mexico 87131 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Sanjay Dhall, MD
    Director of Spinal Neurotrauma, Neurological Surgery. Authored (or co-authored) 138 research publications.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of British Columbia
Study Type
Last Updated