Intrathecal catheter-associated inflammatory mass in a neurofibromatosis type-1 patient receiving fentanyl and bupivacaine.

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Catheter-associated inflammatory masses (CIMs) are a rare but serious complication of intrathecal drug delivery devices. CIM formation is influenced by local medication concentration, which is determined in part by flow dynamics at the catheter tip. Underlying spinal pathologies, such as neoplasms, may alter flow at the catheter tip, thereby contributing to CIM formation. Moreover, they may also complicate the clinical and radiologic diagnosis of a CIM. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 36-year-old man with neurofibromatosis type 1 presented to our emergency department with complaints of increased back pain and leg weakness. To treat pain secondary to his multiple spinal masses, he had previously undergone placement of an implantable drug delivery system, which infused a compounded drug of fentanyl and bupivacaine. Imaging studies depicted numerous masses consistent with neurofibromatosis, including a compressive mass located circumferentially at the porous catheter terminus and proximal to the catheter tip. Surgical removal of this mass was performed; pathologic findings were consistent with a catheter tip granuloma. CONCLUSIONS: In the described case, CIM formation likely resulted from a combination of, 1) an unusually high fentanyl concentration, and, 2) altered infusate flow due to spinal neurofibromas. Consideration of underlying spinal pathologies, particularly mass lesions, is critical to the management of intrathecal drug delivery devices.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Southwell, DG; Osorio, JA; Liverman, CS; Friedman, LM; Naidu, RK; Poree, LR; Henry, MM; Jacques, L

Published Date

  • 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 /

Start / End Page

  • 159 -

PubMed ID

  • 28808608

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5535511

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2229-5097

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4103/sni.sni_80_17


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States