Intrathecal baclofen for spasticity in cerebral palsy

JAMA. 1991 Mar 20;265(11):1418-22.


Seventeen patients with congenital spastic cerebral palsy and six patients with other forms of spasticity were injected intrathecally with doses of placebo or baclofen, 25 micrograms, 50 micrograms, or 100 micrograms, in a randomized, double-blind manner. Muscle tone in the upper and lower extremities was assessed by Ashworth scores both before the injections and every 2 hours afterward for 8 hours. Function of the upper extremities was evaluated before the injections and 4 hours afterward. Muscle tone in the lower extremities was significantly decreased within 2 hours after baclofen injection and remained lower than baseline 8 hours afterward. Upper extremity tone and function were not significantly affected by these single doses. Confusion and drowsiness occurred in two of the youngest children in the study after the 50-micrograms dose, but cleared within 2 hours. Our findings indicate that intrathecal baclofen reduces spasticity in children with cerebral palsy, as it does in adults with spasticity of spinal origin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Baclofen / administration & dosage
  • Baclofen / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Muscle Tonus / drug effects
  • Muscle Tonus / physiology
  • Placebos


  • Placebos
  • Baclofen