Treatment of childhood spasticity of cerebral origin with intrathecal baclofen: a series of 52 cases.
Fitzgerald JJ., Tsegaye M., Vloeberghs MH.
Continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion (CIBI) for spasticity of spinal and cerebral origin has been practised for over two decades. More recently, it has been used for severe spasticity of cerebral origin in children. Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) appears most beneficial in severe spastic tetraparetics or tetraplegics, but the evaluation of the outcome of ITB and the benefit of the treatment are largely subjective. The evidence base for this treatment has been questioned, in particular for ambulant children, mainly because of the lack of objective outcome measures. Fifty-two spastic tetraparetic children have been treated by this method in Nottingham, from 1998 to 2003. This represents a large homogeneous series of CIBI in children with severe spasticity of cerebral origin. We carried out a prospective audit of our experience, morbidity and observations during that period. We identified that the lack of a suitable scoring system for the evaluation of effectiveness and benefit is a drawback. As a result of these observations a multicentre randomized controlled trial on ITB in tetraplegia-paresis and ambulant children is advocated.