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Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;34(6):600-2. doi: 10.1097/AAP.0b013e3181b4cc6b.

Prevention of intrathecal baclofen withdrawal syndrome: successful use of a temporary intrathecal catheter.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 62242, USA.


Abrupt cessation of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) administration can cause a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome that requires prompt diagnosis and urgent treatment. The current therapy for this condition is administration of propofol, benzodiazepines, paralytics and supportive care. This study reports a 53-year-old patient with paraplegia with an ITB infusion who presented with an infected pump site. The pump and the catheter were surgically removed and replaced with a temporary externalized intrathecal catheter. The ITB infusion was tapered and simultaneously substituted with progressively higher doses of oral antispasmotics. With this strategy, we were able to avoid life-threatening complications.

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