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Concept: Intrathecal


TRPA1 is a unique sensor of noxious stimuli and, hence, a potential drug target for analgesics. Here we show that the antinociceptive effects of spinal and systemic administration of acetaminophen (paracetamol) are lost in Trpa1(-/-) mice. The electrophilic metabolites N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine and p-benzoquinone, but not acetaminophen itself, activate mouse and human TRPA1. These metabolites also activate native TRPA1 and, as a consequence, reduce voltage-gated calcium and sodium currents in primary sensory neurons. The N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine metabolite L-cysteinyl-S-acetaminophen was detected in the mouse spinal cord after systemic acetaminophen administration. In the hot-plate test, intrathecal administration of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine, p-benzoquinone and the electrophilic TRPA1 activator cinnamaldehyde produced antinociception that was lost in Trpa1(-/-) mice. Intrathecal injection of a non-electrophilic cannabinoid, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabiorcol, also produced TRPA1-dependent antinociception in this test. Our study provides a molecular mechanism for the antinociceptive effect of acetaminophen and discloses spinal TRPA1 activation as a potential pharmacological strategy to alleviate pain.

Concepts: Neuron, Pain, Sensory system, Paracetamol, Rat, Rodent, Mouse, Intrathecal


BACKGROUND:: Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) is an effective therapy for spasticity and dystonia in pediatric populations; however, there are associated infectious complications. METHODS:: Patients who had an initial ITB device implanted at our center were followed to determine the proportion of patients with infectious and non-infectious complications, identify risk factors for infection and describe the clinical presentations, treatment and outcomes of infectious complications. RESULTS:: Over the 15 year study period, 139 patients had an initial ITB device placed. The mean age at placement was 13.6 years (range- 6 months to 41 years). In the first year of follow-up, 83% had no complications or secondary procedures, 17% had at least one secondary procedure and 5% had an infectious complication. The median time until infection was 14 days (mean 33 ± 42 days). Patients with secondary spasticity or dystonia were more likely to have infections than patients with cerebral palsy (86% vs.14%; p<0.0001). In the 94 patients with a first secondary procedure, 29% had at least one other procedure and 8% had an infection in the one year follow-up. Overall, 24 patients had 27 infections; 22% superficial, 33% deep and 45% organ space. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 50% of those with cultures obtained. Explantation was required in 59% of patients with an infection and differed by infection type: superficial (17%), deep (44%) and organ space (92%) (p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS:: Infectious complications were relatively uncommon; however, when present, frequently led to the explantation of the ITB pump device.

Concepts: Staphylococcus aureus, Infection, Median, Transmission and infection of H5N1, Intrathecal, Spastic diplegia, Intrathecal pump, Baclofen


Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha 2-adrenoceptor (α2AR) agonist, has provided significant analgesia in neuropathic pain. However, its underlying molecular mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that intrathecal administration of dexmedetomidine alleviated mechanical allodynia induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI), and pretreatment with BRL44408 significantly reversed the dexmedetomidine-induced anti-nociceptive effect. Western blotting revealed that dexmedetomidine reduced the activation of microglia and the upregulation of interleukin-18 (IL-18) protein expression in the ipsilateral lumbar spinal dorsal horn, while BRL44408 pretreatment significantly blocked these effects of dexmedetomidine. Immunocytochemistry/immunohistochemistry indicated that the α2A-adrenoceptor was localised to microglia in primary culture, and IL-18 predominantly colocalised with the microglial marker Iba-1 in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. These results suggest that the IL-18 signalling pathway in microglia may be involved in the anti-nociceptive effect of dexmedetomidine in rats subjected to CCI.

Concepts: Present, Molecular biology, Signal transduction, Effect, Pain, Agonist, Intrathecal, Functional selectivity


There is limited information on body composition, energy balance and fitness among childhood ALL survivors, especially those treated without cranial radiation (CRT). This analysis compares these metrics among 365 ALL survivors with a mean age of 28.6±5.9 years (149 treated with and 216 without CRT) and 365 age-, sex-, and race-matched peers. We also report risk factors for outcomes among survivors treated without CRT. Male survivors not exposed to CRT had abnormal body composition when compared to peers (%body fat 26.2±8.2 vs. 22.7±7.1). Survivors without CRT had similar energy balance, but had significantly impaired quadriceps strength (-21.9±6.0 Nm/kg, 60°/s) and endurance (-11.4±4.6 Nm/kg, 300°/s), exercise capacity (-2.0±2.1 ml/kg/min), low-back and hamstring flexibility (-4.7±1.6 cm), and dorsiflexion range of motion (-3.1±0.9°), and higher modified total neuropathy scores (+1.6±1.1) than peers. Cumulative asparaginase dose ≥120,000 IU/m(2) was associated with impaired flexibility, vincristine dose ≥39 mg/m(2) with peripheral neuropathy, glucocorticoid (prednisone equivalent) dose ≥8000 mg/m(2) with hand weakness, and intrathecal methotrexate dose ≥225 mg with dorsiflexion weakness. Physical inactivity was associated with hand weakness and decreased exercise capacity. Smoking was associated with peripheral neuropathy. Elimination of CRT from ALL therapy has improved, but not eliminated, body composition outcomes. Survivors remain at risk for impaired fitness.

Concepts: Obesity, Rheumatoid arthritis, Leukemia, Methotrexate, Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Vincristine, Intrathecal, Peripheral neuropathy


BACKGROUND:The epidural test dose, used to identify unintended intrathecal placement, should reliably produce a spinal block without posing a threat to the patient. Most anesthesiologists administer a dose of local anesthetic, commonly lidocaine 45 mg. Pregnant patients are more sensitive to local anesthetics; high and total spinal anesthesia have been reported in the pregnant population with this dose. We hypothesized that lidocaine 30 mg was as effective as lidocaine 45 mg in creating rapid objective evidence of a sensory or motor block.METHODS:In this prospective, randomized, double-blind trial, patients scheduled for cesarean delivery were assigned to 1 of 4 groups: lidocaine 30 mg in the spinal or epidural space, or lidocaine 45 mg by the same routes. A blinded observer assessed the degree of sensory and motor block. The ability to identify intrathecal injection of each dose was compared. Sensory block above T6 dermatome and hypotension were recorded as side effects.RESULTS:Intrathecal administration of lidocaine 30 mg produced rapid subjective and objective signs of neuroblockade within 3 minutes (100%, 95% confidence interval CI, 85%-100% for each). Lidocaine 45 mg produced similar results. All patients in both groups described their legs as warm or heavy after 3 minutes and had a motor block by 5 minutes. On the basis of an intrathecal catheter rate of 1:380, the observed negative predictive value for intrathecal placement if the patient described no sensory changes at 3 minutes was 100% (95% CI, 99.95%-100%) for 30 mg and 100% (95% CI, 99.93%-100%) for 45 mg. We did not identify a decrease in the rate of side effects with the lower dose.CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that there is unlikely to be a large difference in the ability of these doses to detect unintentional intrathecal catheter placement. While the negative predictive value for intrathecal injection is very high for both doses, the 95% CI for the sensitivity of either dose is too wide to demonstrate clinical safety to identify all intrathecal catheters. A much larger study is warranted to assess whether there is a lower sensitivity with the 30-mg dose, or a propensity toward high cephalad motor block levels with the 45-mg dose.

Concepts: Childbirth, Randomized controlled trial, Anesthesia, Epidural, Catheter, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Spinal anaesthesia


Substance P-saporin (SP-SAP), a chemical conjugate of substance P and a recombinant version of the ribosome-inactivating protein, saporin, when administered intrathecally, acts as a targeted neurotoxin producing selective destruction of superficial neurokinin-1 receptor-bearing cells in the spinal dorsal horn. The goal of this study was to provide proof-of-concept data that a single intrathecal injection of SP-SAP could safely provide effective pain relief in spontaneous bone cancer pain in companion (pet) dogs.

Concepts: Pain management, Intrathecal


BACKGROUND: Shivering during regional anesthesia is a common complication and is related to a decrease in the patient’s core body temperature. Previous studies have shown that acupuncture on specific acupoints can preserve core body temperature. The present study evaluated the effect of electroacupuncture in preventing the shivering caused by regional anesthesia. METHODS: This prospective and randomized controlled study analyzed the data from 80 patients undergoing urological surgery, who were classified as ASA I or II. Spinal anesthesia was performed in all patients using 15 mg of bupivacaine. The patients were randomly allocated to receive either placebo acupuncture (Group P, n = 40) or electroacupuncture (Group A, n = 40) for 30 min before administration of spinal anesthesia. Shivering score was recorded at 5 min intervals, with 0 representing no shivering and 4 representing the most severe shivering possible. Heart rate, blood pressure, and tympanic temperature were recorded before the intrathecal injection, and again every 5 min thereafter until 30 min. RESULTS: After spinal anesthesia, the decrease in tympanic temperature was less for Group A patients than Group P, with the difference being statistically significant. After 15 min, 13 patients in Group P attained a shivering score of 3 or more, compared with 3 patients in Group A. Significantly more patients in Group P attained a shivering score of at least 1. CONCLUSIONS: The prophylactic use of electroacupuncture might maintain core body temperature, and may effectively prevent the shivering that commonly develops during regional anesthesia.Trial registrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000096853.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Statistical significance, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Acupuncture, Intrathecal, Spinal anaesthesia


There is experimental evidence that dexmedetomidine has neuroprotective effects. So, it could be expected that its intrathecal or epidural administration presents no harm. However, whether dexmedetomidine is neurotoxic to the spinal cord remains to be fully elucidated.

Concepts: Intrathecal, Neuroprotection


This study aimed to assess the local anesthetic effects of chlorpheniramine in spinal anesthesia and is compared with mepivacaine, a widely-used local anesthetic. Spinal anesthesia with chlorpheniramine and mepivacaine was constructed in a dosage-dependent fashion after the rats were injected intrathecally. The spinal block effect of chlorpheniramine in motor function, nociception, and proprioception was compared to that of mepivacaine. We revealed that intrathecal chlorpheniramine and mepivacaine exhibited a dose-dependent spinal block of motor function, nociception, and proprioception. On the 50% effective dose (ED50) basis, the ranks of potencies in motor function, nociception, and proprioception were chlorpheniramine>mepivacaine (P<0.01 for the differences). On the equianesthetic basis (ED25, ED50, ED75), the duration of spinal anesthesia with chlorpheniramine was greater than that of mepivacaine (P<0.01 for the differences). Instead of mepivacaine, chlorpheniramine produced a greater duration of sensory blockade than the motor blockade. These preclinical data showed that chlorpheniramine has a better sensory-selective action over motor block to produce more potent and long-lasting spinal anesthesia than mepivacaine.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Anesthesia, Local anesthesia, Sensory system, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Spinal anaesthesia, Effective dose


Spinal glial reactivity has been strongly implicated in pain that follows peripheral nerve injury. Among the many therapeutic agents that have been tested for anti-allodynia through immune modulation is the atypical methylxanthine propentofylline. While propentofylline shows a potent anti-allodynia effect after nerve transection injury, we here demonstrate that, when propentofylline is used intrathecally at the effective immune-modulatory dose, allodynia after rat nerve crush injury is completely preserved. Microglial/macrophage Iba-1 and astrocytic GFAP expression, increased in the dorsal horn of nerve crushed animals, was, however, effectively attenuated by propentofylline. Effective modulation of spinal glial reactivity is, thus, no assurance for anti-allodynia.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Pain management, Intrathecal