ASIA Scale: American Spinal Cord Injury Association Scale
The ASIA scale is a standardized neurological examination used by the rehabilitation team to assess the sensory and motor levels affected by the spinal cord injury.
There are five levels on the scale, ranging from complete loss of neural function in the affected area to complete normalcy.
The findings aid the team in determining functional goals based on the neurological level of injury.
ASIA Scale: American Spinal Cord Injury Association
The transmission of sensory and motor signals and autonomic nervous system functions can be severely hampered or stopped by spinal cord injury.
A clinician could determine which spinal cord segments are affected by systematically examining dermatomes and myotomes.
An international classification system for spinal cord injuries based on standardized sensory and motor assessments, the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI), was developed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and published in 2019 as a revision to the ASIA scale.
A motor and sensory examination is required to determine each side’s sensory and motor levels, the single neurological level of injury (NLI), and the degree of damage (complete or, incomplete).
When a light touch or pinprick is applied to various body parts, this scale measures how much sensation the person experiences.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the scale’s components include:
ASIA Scale: Grade A
The impairment is complete. The level of injury has wiped out all remaining motor and sensory functions.
ASIA Scale: Grade B
A grade of B indicates some opacity in the impairment. Some sensation in the sacral segments S4 and S5 is preserved below the neurologic level, but no motor function is held below the neurologic level.
ASIA Scale: Grade C
There is a void in the patient’s condition. There is some motor function below the level of the neurologic system, but more than half the key muscles below that level have a muscle grade of less than 3.
ASIA Scale: Grade D
The impairment is incomplete. Key muscles below the level of neurological function have a muscle grade of 3 or more, and at least half of these muscles are functional (i.e., the joints can be moved against gravity).
ASIA Scale: Grade E
Patients in this grade have no abnormalities to report. All motor and sensory functions are stable.
- American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale