Intrathecal Injection

Last Updated on: 19th October 2020, 04:07 pm

The Intrathecal Administration consist of an injection made into the spinal canal in order to access the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and by extension, the central nervous system. This type of administration allows to deliver the stem cells to the brain and spinal cord in an easier and more effective way.

Prior injection, a lumbar puncture (LP) is performed in the first place in order to extract a little quantity of CSF and replace it by the stem cells.

Infusion Steps:

  1. The patient is asked to not eat after 10 PM the day before the procedure.
  2. Patients will be moved into a surgical operating suite where the doctor assisted by two nurses, will provide the injection.
  3. Patients will be placed on their side with their backs near the edge of the table or bed. A nurse will then assist patients in bending their knees towards their abdomen and flexing their head to the chest in a fetal position. This position helps to separate the vertebrae so that the needle can be inserted more easily.
  4. The doctor will first examine the patient’s lower back and mark the proper insertion site (between two lumbar vertebrae from L2 to L5).
  5. The area is then cleaned with an antiseptic and a local anesthetic is injected under the skin to numb the area where the needle will be inserted into the spinal canal.
  6. Once the needle is in the correct position, the stylet from spinal needle is then withdrawn and around 2 ml of cerebral spinal fluid is collected.
  7. The stem cells (around 1ml) and saline solution (around 1 ml) will then be administered respectively through the needle into the cerebral spinal fluid.
  8. The procedure is ended by withdrawing the needle with the reinserted stylet while placing pressure on the puncture site. Placement of the needle, along with the infusion, is typically completed in 20 minutes to  hour.
  9. All patients are asked to lie flat for 4 to 6 hours after the procedure to avoid temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, fevers, vomiting and/or pains in the legs. These symptoms are believed to be a result of the change in fluid volume within the spinal canal. Even lying flat, some patients might still develop these discomforts. These might last for up to 48 hours. Patients should alert the doctors if they have a very severe headache, stiff neck, loss of sensation below the puncture area, or any leakage from the injection area.