Complications of Intrathecal Drug Delivery

  • Timothy R. Deer


Intrathecal pumps are an option that allows patients who suffer from moderate-to-severe pain to have an improvement in quality of life, reduction in pain, and change in function. They also are an option for patients who are at the end of life to improve alertness, reduce fatigue and nausea, and improve survival. Unfortunately, despite the many positive attributes of these devices, they are not without risks. The complications can be classified as surgical, device related or drug related. This chapter focuses on the complications of intrathecal drug delivery, and on options to assess and reduce risks.


Cerebral Spinal Fluid Spinal Cord Stimulation Borderline Personality Disorder White Blood Count Side Port 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    Harney D, Victor R. Traumatic syrinx after implantation of an intrathecal catheter. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2004;29(6):606–609.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thimineur MA, Kravitz E, Vodapally MS. Intrathecal opioid treatment for chronic non-malignant pain: a 3-year prospective study. Pain. 2004;109(3):242–249.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Coffey RJ, Burchiel KJ. Inflammatory mass lesions associated with intrathecal drug infusion catheters: report and observations on 41 patients. Neurosurgery. 2002;50(1): in press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yaksh TL, Horais KA, Tozier NA, et al. Chronically infused intrathecal morphine in dogs. Anesthesiology. 2003;99(1):174–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Huntoon MA, Hurdle MF, Marsh RW, Reeves RK. Intrinsic spinal cord catheter placement: implications of new intractable pain in a patient with a spinal cord injury. Anesth Analg. 2004;99(6):1763–1765. table of contents.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Follett KA, Naumann CP. A prospective study of catheter-related complications of intrathecal drug delivery systems. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000;19(3):209–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paice JA, Penn RD, Shott S. Intraspinal morphine for chronic pain: a retrospective, multicenter study. J Pain Symptom Manage. 1996;11(2):71-80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Winkelmuller M, Winkelmuller W. Long-term effects of continuous intrathecal opioid treatment in chronic pain of nonmalignant etiology. J Neurosurg. 1996;85(3):458–467.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deer T. A prospective analysis of intrathecal granuloma in chronic pain patients. A review of the literature and report of a surveillance study. An original contribution. Pain Physician. 2004;7:225–228.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Pain ReliefCharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations