Chronic intrathecal morphine for intractable pain

R. D. Penn, J. A. Paice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Forty-three patients with intractable pain received intrathecal morphine delivered by implanted continuous-infusion (Infusaid) or programmable (Medtronic) devices. In 35 patients the pain was due to cancer, and eight patients had chronic nonmalignant pain. The origin of the nonmalignant pain included lumbar arachnoiditis, multiple sclerosis, severe osteoporosis resulting in a thoracic compression fracture, and intractable pain as a consequence of cancer therapy in individuals cured of their disease. Twenty-eight (80%) of the patient with cancer-related pain experienced excellent or good relief. Side effects were rare. Tolerance occurred infrequently and could be managed effectively. The results of this study support earlier studies on the application of chronic intrathecal morphine for intractable cancer pain. These findings also indicate that, in carefully selected patients, nonmalignant pain may be managed satisfactorily with this technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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