Objective: To investigate the effects of citicoline on experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). Background Citicoline has been successfully used in clinical studies of head injury and cerebral infarction, but there is limited literature regarding its Use in experimental SCI. Study design: Twenty adult Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sham, trauma, vehicle, and citicoline-treated. SCI was produced using a weight drop technique. Citicoline 300 mg/kg was given intraperitoneally, 5 minutes after the induction of trauma. The animals were sacrificed and 1 cm long samples of injured spinal cord were obtained at 48 hours post-SCI. Lipid peroxidation was estimated try the thiobarbituric acid test. Neurological examinations were performed using a previously described grading scale. Results: Measures of lipid peroxidation and motor scores of the citicoline-treated group were significantly lower than those in the other injury groups. Conclusions: Citicoline attenuated lipid peroxidation after SCI and improved the motor scores. Further investigations will be required to determine the long-term effects of this drug on spinal cord injury. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.