Spinal Cord Stimulation to Restore Cough

2015-05-13 18:21:46 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this trial is to determine the efficacy of spinal cord stimulation to produce an effective cough in patients with spinal cord injuries.


Patients with cervical and thoracic spinal cord injuries often have paralysis of a major portion of their expiratory muscles — the muscles responsible for coughing — and therefore, lack a normal cough mechanism. Consequently, most of these patients suffer from a markedly reduced ability to clear airway secretions, a factor which contributes to the development of recurrent respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Expiratory muscles can be activated by electrical stimulation of the spinal roots to produce a functionally effective cough.

The purpose of this trial is to determine if electrical stimulation of the expiratory muscles is capable of producing an effective cough on demand. According to the trial researchers, if successful, this technique will prevent the need for frequent patient suctioning — which often requires the constant presence of trained personnel. It will also allow spinal cord injured patients to clear their secretions more readily, thereby reducing the incidence of respiratory complications and associated illness and death.

In the trial, researchers will study 18 adults (18-70 years old) with spinal injuries (T5 level or higher), at least 12 months following the date of injury. After an evaluation of medical history, a brief physical examination, and initial testing, participants will have small electrodes (metal discs) placed — by a routine surgical procedure — over the surface of their spinal cords on the lower back to stimulate the expiratory muscles and restore cough.

Study Design

Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Spinal Cord Injuries


Spinal Cord Stimulation, Expiratory Muscle Stimulator


MetroHealth Medical Center
United States


Active, not recruiting


Case Western Reserve University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-05-13T18:21:46-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.

Reduced blood flow to the spinal cord which is supplied by the anterior spinal artery and the paired posterior spinal arteries. This condition may be associated with ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, trauma, emboli, diseases of the aorta, and other disorders. Prolonged ischemia may lead to INFARCTION of spinal cord tissue.

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