AA

Methods

A key word literature search for scientific articles published from January 1, 1990 to November 30, 2014 investigating acute cardiovascular complications following spinal cord injury was conducted using the following online databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, EMBASE and Cochrane Library. Population key words (i.e., spinal cord injury, paraplegia, tetraplegia, and quadriplegia) and cardiovascular complication key words (i.e., neurogenic shock, bradycardia, arterial hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, and cardiovascular dysfunction) were used in combination. The search was limited to English publications that were either journal articles, reviews or systematic reviews (excluding case reports) with at least three adults (≥18 years) with spinal cord injury. More than 50% of participants included in the study had to have spinal cord injuries, unless the results were stratified. A total of 3,068 publications were found within these criteria, after which duplicates, animal and pediatric studies, and case reports were omitted. During this process, 5 additional papers were added as a result of cross-referencing. It should be noted that articles were considered suitable for inclusion in this chapter if all, or the majority of, participants in each study were approximately within 3 months of sustaining injury. Finally, articles were excluded from the sample based on irrelevant title, abstract, or full text, leaving a total of 84 papers. These articles were further subdivided into 57 review papers used for background information, and 27 journal publications used for producing tables and formulating evidence statements.