[Intrathecal baclofen in the treatment of severe spastic tetraplegia and dystonia in children and adolescents].Ugeskr Laeger 2003; 165(17):1755-9UL
Continuous intrathecal baclofen has been used over the past years especially in adult patients with spasticity of spinal origin. Children and young adults with severe spasticity and dystonia of cerebral origin are difficult to treat in spite of optimal systemic antispasmotic therapy with baclofen, tizanidine, dantrolene and/or diazepam. Intrathecal baclofen has therefore been applied in a group of young patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Eight children and young adults from East Denmark with spasticity and 12 with dystonia aged 3-18 years (median 10.9 years) were tested, operated and treated with continuous intrathecal baclofen for a period of 2-64 months (median 22.2 months). Registration of efficacy, fillings, adjustments of baclofen and other therapies were performed in an out patient setting since 1995.
Spasticity in lower extremities was reduced from Ashworth score 3.5-4.5 (median 4.2) to Ashworth score 2.5-4.0 (median 2.9; p < 0.001) during infusion with baclofen 5-33 micrograms/kg/24 hours (median 19 micrograms/kg/24 hours). The infusion catheter tip was placed at levels Th1-Th12 (median Th7.5). Peroral baclofen was reduced from an average of 5.0 to 0.44 mg/kg/24 hours, tizanidine from 0.4 to 0.1 mg/kg/24 hours, and dantrolene from 4.0 to 0.4 mg/kg/24 hours. After initial adjustments successively increased dosages of average 0.46 microgram/kg/month were needed to maintain the same level of efficacy. In questionnaires parents or guardians rated less spasticity in lower extremities in 15 out of 19 patients, and less pain in 13 out of 19 patients.
Continuous intrathecal baclofen was effective in treating severe spasticity and dystonia of cerebral origin with major effect on muscles of the lower extremities, pelvis, and back and in particular opisthotonus was relieved. Efficacy on upper extremities was far less pronounced.