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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


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


Objectives:Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease affecting young people and is a major cause of disability. In the course of time, disability progresses and symptoms like spasticity may occur. Spasticity is a major cost factor in MS patients. Various agents are approved for the treatment of spasticity, but each of those agents may have several side effects. Intrathecally administered steroids (triamcinolone-acetonide (TCA)) may be efficient in treating spasticity in patients with lesions in the spinal cord and no response to first-line therapeutics. The aim of this study is to show effects of TCA treatment on clinical parameters in patients with MS.Methods:This multicentre open label study included 54 patients with MS. The clinical outcome parameters were spasticity, disability, maximum walking distance, bladder function and quality of life. All patients received physiotherapy in addition to TCA treatment to obtain optimal effects on clinical parameters.Results:Spasticity, maximum walking distance as well as disability improved significantly (P⩽0.001) during TCA applications. Bladder function improved in every seventh patient.Conclusion:We observed the effects of intrathecally administered TCA on different clinical parameters including bladder function. TCA administration is a safe method to treat different symptoms in MS patients. Longitudinal trials with repeated TCA cycles are needed to show long-term effects. Besides TCA treatment, physiotherapy contributes to the improvement of clinical parameters.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 16 September 2014; doi:10.1038/sc.2014.155.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Multiple sclerosis, Affect, Autoimmune disease, Intrathecal, Baclofen


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


The purpose of this study was to estimate the local anesthetic effect of orphenadrine, an anti-muscarinic agent, in spinal anesthesia and its comparison with the local anesthetic lidocaine. After the rat was injected intrathecally, the spinal block of orphenadrine and lidocaine were constructed in a dosage-dependent fashion. The potency and duration of spinal anesthesia with orphenadrine were compared with that of lidocaine. Our data demonstrated that orphenadrine and lidocaine elicited dose-dependent spinal blockades on the motor function, sensory, and proprioception. On the 50% effective dose (ED50) basis, the ranks of potency in motor function, nociception, and proprioception was orphenadrine>lidocaine (P<0.01). At equipotent doses (ED25, ED50, ED75), the block duration elicited by orphenadrine was greater than that elicited by lidocaine (P<0.01). Orphenadrine, but not lidocaine, exhibited longer duration of nociceptive/sensory blockade than that of motor blockade at equipotent doses. Ineffective-dose orphenadrine as adjuvant did not enhance spinal anesthesia with lidocaine. The preclinical data revealed that orphenadrine with a more sensory-selective action over motor block exhibited more potent and longer spinal anesthesia when compared to lidocaine.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Local anesthesia, Morphine, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Lidocaine, Spinal anaesthesia, Effective dose


Abstract Liposomes are widely used as delivery systems of cytotoxic drugs. The encapsulation into liposomes improves pharmacological properties and as a result therapeutic index and outcomes. To date, liposomal vincristine and cytarabine are approved and marketed for intravenous and intrathecal administration, respectively. The main goal of this review is to examine the clinical use and pharmacological properties, as well as the safety of liposomal forms of less widely used liposomal forms of anticancer agents compared to their conventional forms and to present data regarding clinical development of other liposomal agents. Liposomal forms of cytarabine and vincristine are less widely used and unknown compared to liposomal anthracyclines, because they are approved only for specific indications and only in the United States.

Concepts: Pharmacology, United States, Chemotherapy, Leukemia, Drug development, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, Intrathecal


High or total spinal anesthesia commonly results from accidental placement of an epidural catheter in the intrathecal space with subsequent injection of excessive volumes of local anesthetic. Cerebrospinal lavage has been shown to be effective at reversing the effects of high/total spinal anesthesia but is rarely considered in obstetric cases. Here, we describe the use of cerebrospinal lavage to prevent potential complications from high/total spinal anesthesia after unintentional placement of an intrathecal catheter in a labouring obstetric patient.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Local anesthesia, Epidural, Caesarean section, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Anesthetic, Spinal anaesthesia


Intrathecal administration of the neurotoxin, bombesin-saporin, reduces or abolishes pruritogen-evoked scratching behavior. We presently investigated if spinal neurons that respond to intradermal injection of pruritogens also respond to spinal superfusion of bombesin, and vice versa. Single-unit recordings were made from superficial lumbar spinal dorsal horn neurons in anesthetized mice. We identified neurons using three search strategies: (a) intradermal (id) injection of the non-histaminergic itch mediator, chloroquine, (b) spinal superfusion of bombesin, and © noxious pinch. All units were tested with an array of itch mediators (chloroquine, histamine, SLIGRL, BAM8-22), algogens (capsaicin, allyl isothiocyanate= AITC) and physical stimuli (brush, pinch, noxious heat, cooling) applied to the hindlimb receptive field. The vast majority of chloroquine-responsive units also responded to bombesin. Of 26 chloroquine-sensitive units tested, most responded to SLIGRL, half responded to histamine and/or BAM8-22, and most responded to capsaicin and/or AITC as well as noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli. Of 29 bombesin-responsive units, a large majority also responded to other itch mediators as well as AITC, capsaicin and noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli. Responses to successive applications of bombesin exhibited tachyphylaxis. In contrast, of 36 units responsive to noxious pinch, the majority (67%) did not respond to id chloroquine or spinal bombesin. It is suggested that chloroquine- and bombesin sensitive spinal neurons signal itch from the skin.

Concepts: Skin, Chloroquine, Receptive field, Mediation, Intrathecal, Injection