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Anesthesiology. 2010 Jan;112(1):165-73. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181c38da5.

Cerebrospinal fluid and spinal cord distribution of hyperbaric bupivacaine and baclofen during slow intrathecal infusion in pigs.

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  • 1Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the widespread use of implanted pumps for continuous intrathecal drug delivery, there have been no studies aimed at defining the effect of baricity and posture on drug distribution in the cerebrospinal fluid and spinal cord during the very slow infusion rates typically used for chronic intrathecal drug administration.

METHODS:

Intrathecal microdialysis probes were placed at six points along the neuraxis in both the anterior and posterior intrathecal space of anesthetized pigs to permit cerebrospinal fluid sampling. Animals were then positioned either vertically or horizontally (prone), and a hyperbaric solution containing bupivacaine (7.5 mg/ml) and baclofen (2 mg/ml) was infused at 20 microl/h for 6 h, while the cerebrospinal fluid was collected for measurement of drug concentration. At the end of the experiment, the animals were killed, and the spinal cord was removed and divided into 1-cm sections that were further divided into anterior and posterior portions for measurement of drug concentration.

RESULTS:

Bupivacaine and baclofen distribution was biased caudally in the vertical group and cephalad in the horizontal group. Drug concentration decreased rapidly in the cerebrospinal fluid and spinal cord as a function of distance from the site of administration in both groups, resulting in most drugs being located in very close proximity to the site of infusion.

CONCLUSION:

Even at very slow infusion rates, drug distribution within the cerebral spinal fluid and spinal cord are affected by baricity/posture. These findings suggest that patient position and solution baricity may be important clinical factors determining the distribution and ultimate efficacy of chronic intrathecal drug infusions.

PMID:
19996952
DOI:
10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181c38da5
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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