AA

Methods

A key word literature search for scientific articles published from January 1, 1990 to August 31, 2014 investigating acute thromboembolic complications following spinal cord injury (SCI) 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 thromboembolic complication key words (i.e., vein thrombosis, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, embolism, heparin low-molecular-weight, heparin, thromboembolism, vena cava filtration, anticoagulant) 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 SCI. More than 50% of participants included in the study had to have spinal cord injuries, unless the results were stratified. A total of 8,500 publications were found that satisfied these criteria, after which duplicates, animal and pediatric studies, and case reports were omitted. During this process, 10 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 within approximately 3 months post SCI. Finally, articles were excluded from the sample based on irrelevant title, abstract, or full text, leaving a total of 94 papers. These articles were further subdivided into 65 review papers used for background information, and 29 journal publications used for producing tables and formulating evidence statements.