Spinal cord injury models in non human primates: Are lesions created by sharp instruments relevant to human injuries?
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The worldwide incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is approximated at 180,000 new cases per year. Experiments using nonhuman primates (NHP) are often used to replicate the human condition in order to advance the understanding of SCI and to assist in the development of new treatments. Experimental spinal cord lesions in NHP have been created by a number of methods including blunt trauma, epidural balloons, circumferential cuffs, and dropping a precision weight over the spinal cord. As well, experimental lesions have been created with sharp instruments after opening the dura mater. However, spinal cord lesions that are created with a sharp instrument in NHP experiments may not replicate the clinical and pathological features of human spinal cord injury. Researchers should recognize the challenges associated with making clinical inferences in human SCIs based on NHP experiments that created experimental lesions with a sharp surgical instrument.
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