[Continuous intrathecal infusion of baclofen. A new therapeutic method for spasticity].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1998 Sep 10; 118(21):3256-60.TN
Intrathecal administration of baclofen is now generally accepted as a powerful treatment of spasticity caused by spinal lesions. 35 patients with severe spasticity, 29 of spinal origin and six of supraspinal origin resistant to conservative treatment, had a programmable pump (Synchromed, Medtronic) for continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion implanted. The patients were followed-up for an average of 29 months (0-68). The initial effect of the treatment was positive for all patients; spasms were less frequent, there was remission of pain caused by cramps, and in some cases improved ambulation. In five patients, however, the pump was later removed: in two patients the pump ceased to be effective, two patients became infected, and one experienced multiple catheter problems. Problems with the catheter was the most common complication experienced, and this was seen in nine patients. Three patients died of the underlying disease. The majority of patients became accommodated to intrathecal baclofen and it was necessary to administer increasingly larger doses to maintain the clinical effect. Long-term control of spinal spasticity by intrathecal baclofen can be achieved in most patients, but close follow-up is necessary for assessing efficacy and refilling the pump.