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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 439014, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Efficacy and Safety of Ropivacaine Addition to Intrathecal Morphine for Pain Management in Intractable Cancer

1Department of Pain, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China
2State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093, China

Received 19 May 2015; Accepted 7 September 2015

Academic Editor: Zhong Xie

Copyright © 2015 Ying Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Although intrathecal drug infusion has been commonly adopted for terminal cancer pain relief, its adverse effects have made many clinicians reluctant to employ it for intractable cancer pain. The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy and security of an intrathecal continuous infusion of morphine and ropivacaine versus intrathecal morphine alone for cancer pain. Methods. Thirty-six cancer patients received either a continuous morphine () or morphine and ropivacaine () infusion using an intrathecal catheter through a subcutaneous port. Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) scores and the Barthel Index were analyzed. Adverse effects and complications on postoperative days 1, 3, 7, and 15 were also analyzed. Results. All patients experienced pain relief. Compared to those who received morphine alone, patients receiving morphine and ropivacaine had significantly lower postoperative morphine requirements and higher Barthel Index scores on the 15th postsurgical day (). Patients receiving morphine and ropivacaine had lower NRS scores than patients receiving morphine alone on postoperative days 1, 3, 7, and 15 (). Negative postsurgical effects were similar in both groups. Conclusions. Morphine and ropivacaine administration through intrathecal access ports is efficacious and safe and significantly improves quality of life.