Electrophysiological assessment of the effect of intrathecal baclofen in spastic children

Clin Neurophysiol. 2002 Mar;113(3):336-40. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(02)00010-x.


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of intrathecal baclofen in a group of spastic children using electrophysiological procedures described in adults.

Methods: Six children (aged 1-14 years) with severe spasticity of various aetiologies underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation, H reflex and flexor reflex studies before and after intrathecal injection of baclofen. Ashworth scale was used for clinical evaluation of spasticity.

Results: Motor evoked potentials, present in two patients before baclofen, were preserved after injection. Before baclofen, H reflex was present in 5 patients (H(max)/M(max) from 0.23 to 0.84) and absent in one who had infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy. After baclofen, it was absent in 4 patients and markedly reduced in one. Surface of flexor reflex significantly decreased after baclofen (P=0.01), while threshold significantly increased (P=0.003).

Conclusions: In spastic children, the action of baclofen on spinal pathways may be quantified by the same electrophysiological procedures as in adults. This approach may contribute to select optimal dosage.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Baclofen / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Electromyography / drug effects
  • Female
  • GABA Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • H-Reflex / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / administration & dosage*
  • Muscle Spasticity / diagnosis
  • Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy*
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology*
  • Reflex / drug effects
  • Sensory Thresholds / drug effects
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
  • Treatment Outcome


  • GABA Agonists
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central
  • Baclofen