Study design: Hospital based observational study.
Objectives: To evaluate the role of methyl prednisolone (MPS) in the manage
ment of acute transverse myelitis (ATM).
Methods: Twenty-one patients with ATM were included in a prospective hospit
al based study during 1992-1997. All the patients underwent neurological ex
amination, spinal MRI, somatosensory and motor evoked potentials of both up
per and lower limbs and concentric needle EMG study. Twelve consecutive pat
ients did not receive MPS therapy who were managed during 1992-1994 and nin
e consecutive patients during 1995-1997 received MPS therapy in a dose of 5
00 mg i.v. for 5 days. The clinical and neurophysiological studies were rep
eated 3 months later. The outcome was defined on the basis of Barthel index
(BI) score at the end of 3 months into good (BI greater than or equal to 1
2) and poor (BI<12).
Results: The age of NIPS group was 25.5 years (range 12-42) and three were
females. The age of non MPS group was 33.5 years (range 16-70) and two were
females. In the MPS group 33% had poor outcome compared to 67% in the non
MPS group. In the MPS group mean admission BI score was 7.3 which improved
to 14.6 after MPS therapy. In the non MPS group, the admission BI score was
3.2 which improved to 9.6 at 3 month follow-up. In patients with complete
paraplegia, evidence of denervation on EMG and unrecordable central motor c
onduction time to lower limb and tibial SEP were associated with poor outco
me irrespective of NIPS treatment. Global test statistics did not suggest a
beneficial role of MPS therapy in the outcome of ATM.
Conclusion: Our results do not suggest a beneficial role of methyl predniso
lone on the 3 month outcome of ATM.