Intrathecal administration of high-dose morphine solutions decreases the pH of cerebrospinal fluid

Michel F M WagemansJaap J De Lange


Terminally ill patients suffering from intractable cancer pain are treated in our hospital on an outpatient basis with a percutaneous intrathecal (i.t.) catheter and a portable pump delivering morphine continuously. In a patient showing an increased demand of morphine the dose was raised from 1.5 to 2 mg/h, but pain intensity did not decrease. Subsequently a 1.5 ml dose of 5% lidocaine was administered; however, no motor or sensory block was observed. After controlling the catheter position and passage through the catheter, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was taken and the pH was measured. It was found to be outside the physiological range of 7.19 (normal range: 7.27-7.37), possibly explaining the decreased activity of the local anesthetic. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of morphine, with or without sodium metabisulfite, on pH in vitro, using artificial CSF (ACSF) and on pH in vivo during i.t. administration of morphine. An in vitro model was used to measure pH changes by adding a morphine solution (concentrations of 0.5, 2, 5 and 10 mg/ml) with and without sodium metabisulfite to ACSF solutions (Elliott B). Fourteen patients were consecutively selected for continuous administration of morphine. ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cerebrospinal Fluid
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Epilepsy, Myoclonic, Infantile
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Intrathecal Injection
Morphine Sulfate (2: 1), Pentahydrate
Malignant Neoplasms

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