Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pain. 2003 Sep;105(1-2):65-70.

Intrathecal, but not intravenous adenosine reduces allodynia in patients with neuropathic pain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Center for the Study of Pharmacologic Plasticity in the Presence of Pain, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1009, USA.


Intrathecal adenosine reduces allodynia from intradermal capsaicin in human volunteers, and reduces hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli in animals with nerve injury. Although both intrathecal and intravenous adenosine have been reported to relieve pain in patients with neuropathic pain, there are no controlled trials of this therapy. In order to determine the effect of adenosine, seven patients with chronic neuropathic pain and stable areas of mechanical hyperalgesia and allodynia were recruited. Using a double-blind, cross-over design, patients were studied on two occasions - once with intrathecal adenosine, 2 mg and once with intravenous adenosine, 2 mg, using saline by the alternate route. Areas of hyperalgesia and allodynia and pain from von Frey stimulation in the area of allodynia were determined up to 24 h after drug injection. Intrathecal, but not intravenous adenosine reduced area of allodynia by approximately 25% (P<0.05) from 2 to 24 h after injection. Intrathecal adenosine reduced pain from von Frey filament stimulation in the area of allodynia by approximately 20% (P<0.05). Ongoing pain was unaffected by adenosine by either route. Intrathecal, but not intravenous adenosine, caused backache in five of seven patients, lasting 6 h. These results indicate that intrathecal adenosine reduces allodynia and pain from stimulation in the area of allodynia, whereas the same dose of adenosine intravenously was ineffective. Given the modest effect and common side effects, the role for intrathecal adenosine as a sole agent for the treatment of neuropathic pain may be limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center