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Anesth Analg. 1989 Mar;68(3):377-84.

Selection of implantable narcotic delivery systems.

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  • 1Kansas City Pain Consortium, Missouri.


Intraspinal narcotics have dramatically influenced the way pain of malignant origin is managed. There has been a rapid acceptance of this modality within the anesthesia community to treat a wide variety of cancer pain problems. In tandem the development of various implantable narcotic delivery systems has complemented and facilitated the expanded role of intraspinal narcotics in the treatment of cancer pain. Appropriate patient selection is crucial if optimal results are to be achieved. Factors to be considered in patient selection should include the results of the preimplantation spinal narcotic trial, infection trial, infection and local conditions, hematologic status, physiologic and behavioral abnormalities, cost, patient support systems and life expectancy. By interfacing these factors with the unique profiles that each of the five types of implantable narcotic delivery systems offer, improved results both in terms of pain relief and patient satisfaction can be expected.

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