Peripheral Edema due to Neuraxial Opioid Infusion: Still an Underrecognized Predicament

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The discovery of opioid receptor in the spinal cord in the 1970s opened the door for spinally mediated analgesia. The demonstration of profound analgesia by intrathecal opioid leads to the current popular utilization of the intrathecal opioid delivery pump to treat varieties of intractable painful conditions that have not responded to conventional treatment. The introduction of intrathecal opioid infusion marks one of the most important breakthroughs in pain management in the past decades. The main advantage of intrathecal opioid is that it produces profound analgesia in doses much smaller than would be required for comparable analgesia if administered systemically.

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