Continuous intrathecal infusion of baclofen in patients with spasticity caused by spinal cord injuries.Neurosurg Rev. 2002 Aug; 25(4):228-30.NR
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of intrathecal baclofen therapy delivered by a programmable pump for the chronic treatment of spinal spasticity. Twelve patients with intractable spasticity caused by spinal cord injuries underwent implantation of a programmable continuous infusion pump after significant reduction in spasticity following an intrathecal test bolus of baclofen. No deaths or new permanent neurological deficits occurred following surgery or chronic intrathecal baclofen therapy. The follow-up (12 months) shows a reduction in rigidity in the lower limb of 2.0 points on the Ashworth scale and in the upper limb of 1.2 points. Muscle spasms were reduced from a mean preoperative score of 2.8 to a mean postoperative score of 1.0. In two cases, we observed postoperative catheter dislocation, a complication which could be corrected surgically. This study demonstrates that chronic intrathecal baclofen infusion is a safe and effective form of treatment of intractable spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury. There is considerable reduction in the risk of infection in view of the fact that interrogation and programming of the implanted programmed pumps is noninvasive.