Intrathecal Catheter Granuloma Associated with Continuous Sufentanil Infusion

Anita Gupta, Ty Martindale, Paul J. Christo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Intrathecal sufentanil is a minimally utilized opioid for patients with intractable pain refractory to traditional intrathecal medications. We present an 86-year-old female with a history of multiple spine surgeries who eventually progressed to having chronic, intractable, and diffuse low back pain. After failing medical management, she underwent a successful intrathecal trial of opioid therapy and was subsequently treated with an implantable drug delivery system (IDDS) or intrathecal pump. We describe the first reported case of formation of a catheter tip granuloma associated with intrathecal infusion of sufentanil.Due to increasing opioid requirements and gradually escalating pain, a computed tomography myelogram was performed to explore neuraxial etiologies of her symptoms. This investigation revealed the presence of a catheter tip-associated inflammatory mass (granuloma). All patients receiving intrathecal medications, including sufentanil, must be considered for the possibility of catheter-associated granuloma, particularly with symptoms of altered neurological function and/or increasing medication requirements associated with worsening pain. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-852
Number of pages6
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Chronic Pain
  • FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome)
  • Interventional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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