Unique Intradural Inflammatory Mass Containing Precipitated Morphine: Confirmatory Analysis by LESA-MS and MALDI-MS

Date Published:

2018 Feb 26

Abstract:

Opioids are often used for analgesia via continuous intrathecal delivery by implantable devices. A higher concentration and daily dose of opioid have been postulated as risk factors for intrathecal granuloma formation. We present a 42-year-old female patient with chronic abdominal pain from refractory pancreatitis, with an intrathecal drug delivery device implanted 21 years prior, delivering continuous intrathecal morphine. After many years without concerning physical signs or complaints, with gradual increases in daily morphine dose, she presented with rapidly progressive neurologic deficits, including lower extremity, bladder, and bowel symptoms. These symptoms were determined to be secondary to mass effect and local inflammation related to an intrathecal catheter tip granuloma, detected on magnetic resonance imaging of the spine. The mass was urgently resected. On histopathologic examination, this granuloma was found to be unique, in that in addition to the expected inflammatory components, it appeared to contain precipitated nonpolarizable crystals. These were identified as precipitated morphine using liquid extraction surface analysis-tandem mass spectrometry (LESA-MS/MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-FTICR-MSI). In addition to the unique finding of precipitated morphine crystals, the long-term follow-up of both morphine concentration and daily dose increases provides insight into the formation of intrathecal granulomas.

Last updated on 10/29/2018