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Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Motor Function in Men with Spinal Cord Injury

A Retrospective Analysis

Clark, Mary J., RN, MPH; Petroski, Gregory F., PhD; Mazurek, Micah O., PhD; Hagglund, Kristofer J., PhD; Sherman, Ashley K., MA; Lammy, Andrew B., BA; Childers, Martin K., DO, PhD; Acuff, Michael E., MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: April 2008 - Volume 87 - Issue 4 - p 281-284
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e318168bbec
Original Research Article: Spinal Cord Injury

Clark MJ, Petroski GF, Mazurek MO, Hagglund KJ, Sherman AK, Lammy AB, Childers MK, Acuff ME: Testosterone replacement therapy and motor function in men with spinal cord injury: a retrospective analysis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2008;87:281–284.

Objective: To evaluate motor function in men with spinal cord injury (SCI) given testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Design: American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) rehabilitation discharge motor index scores were compared between men with SCI given TRT (testosterone cypionate, 200 mg, monthly; n = 50) and a comparison group (n = 480) in a retrospective study. Covariates included admission motor and FIM scores, level of injury (paraplegia/tetraplegia), days since injury, and age.

Results: ASIA discharge motor scores for ASIA impairment scale grades C and D were significantly different (P < 0.05) in men with incomplete SCI given TRT, relative to the comparison group. The covariate-adjusted mean discharge score for the TRT group was higher than for the comparison group. There were no significant differences in discharge FIM scores (P = 0.34) for men with incomplete injuries and no differences in the adjusted discharge ASIA motor scores (P = 0.92) or adjusted discharge FIM scores (P = 0.16) for men with complete injuries.

Conclusion: The data support a relationship between TRT and strength gains in men with residual motor function after SCI. Prospective studies are necessary to validate these findings.

From the Department of Health Psychology (MJC, KJH), Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology (MOM, ABL), Office of Medical Research (GFP, AKS), and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (MEA), University of Missouri–Columbia, Columbia, Missouri; and the Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (MKC).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael E. Acuff, MD, One Hospital Dr., DC046.00, Columbia, MO 65211.

This work was supported by funds from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education (grant #H133N000012). Portions of this manuscript were presented at the 51st Annual Conference of the American Paraplegia Society, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 6–8, 2005.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.