Sciwora: Diagnosis and treatment A systematic review

  • Stefania Nikolaou intern
  • Elias Vasiliadis


SCIWORA (Spinal Cord Injury Without overt Radiological Abnormality) is a term first used by Loyd, back in 1907, even though it became more known in 1982 by Pang. The initial term described a condition were signs of myelopathy were not accompanied by traumatic findings on plain radiographs or on computed tomography and it was mostly believed to be a medical condition seen in children. Throughout the years it has been shown that SCIWORA is not only seen in children but it is also seen in adults. Introducing MRI to the diagnostic algorithm caused controversy about what should be defined as SCIWORA, but it also added to the comprehension of the pathophysiology of SCIWORA. The aim of this study was to investigate the current trends in diagnosis and possible treatments of SCIWORA. The reviewed articles were obtained by using the online Pubmed and Google scholar databases and by following the PRISMA guidelines. While there is no consensus on a protocol, the current management protocols include immediate bracing, avoiding the administration of corticosteroids and performing an MRI as the main diagnostic imaging. The decision for surgical intervention seems to be taken based on the MRI findings and the skills of the practitioner.


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