Effect of methylprednisolone (MP, tirilazad mesylate (TM) and vitamin E on lipid peroxidation (LP) was evaluated in an experimental model of spinal cord compression injury in anesthetized rats. Forty rats, divided randomly into four groups, were injured by compressing on the spinal cord at Th 3 for 1 min. Bolus injections of saline solution, MP (30 mg/kg bolus and 5.4 mg/kg/h), TM (10 mg/g four times per day), or vitamin E (30 mg/kg four times per day) were begun 1 h after the spinal cord injury (SCI). Twenty-four hours after treatment, the rats were killed, and malondialdehyde (MDA), a LP product, was measured in the spinal cord tissues. Rats treated with MP, TM and vitamin E had significantly decreased MDA levels (P <0.01) than rats in the control group. The lowest MDA levels were found in the TM group. These results suggest that MP, PM and vitamin E may have a protective effect against SCI in rats by its antioxidant effect.