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Catheters, Spinal, Intrathecal

Definition : Spinal catheters introduced into the subarachnoid space through the membranes (sheath or "theca") covering the spinal cord. These catheters are introduced using special needles, and their distal tip is advanced into the subarachnoid space to the desired spinal segment (e.g., lumbar). Intrathecal spinal catheters may be tunneled, using either an external injection hub or a subcutaneous port for bolus administration or infusion via an external pump; these systems are used for temporary procedures (e.g., surgery, delivery) or in patients whose life expectancy is very short. Otherwise, the epidural catheters are attached to subcutaneous implanted infusion pumps for continuous infusion in relatively long-term procedures, such as treatments of spasticity (using antispasmodic drugs such as baclofen) in spinal injured patients, or opioids (e.g., morphine) administration to cancer patients with long life expectancy. Intrathecal catheters usually employ smaller drug doses than epidural catheters.

Entry Terms : "Intrathecal Catheters"

UMDC code : 18691

   

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