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Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 1797–1805 | Cite as

A comprehensive institutional overview of intrathecal nusinersen injections for spinal muscular atrophy

  • Mohammad A. Mousa
  • David J. AriaEmail author
  • Carrie M. Schaefer
  • Robin D. Kaye
  • Todd A. Abruzzo
  • Saunder M. Bernes
  • Scott D. Willard
  • Monique C. Riemann
  • Richard B. Towbin
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive neuromuscular disorder resulting in progressive muscle weakness. In December 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment for SMA, a drug named nusinersen (Spinraza) that is administered intrathecally. However many children with SMA have neuromuscular scoliosis or spinal instrumentation resulting in challenging intrathecal access. Therefore alternative routes must be considered in these complex patients.

Objective

To investigate routes of drug access, we reviewed our institutional experience of administering intrathecal nusinersen in all children with spinal muscular atrophy regardless of spinal anatomy or instrumentation.

Materials and methods

We reviewed children with SMA who were referred for intrathecal nusinersen injections from March to December 2017 at our institution. In select children with spinal hardware, spinal imaging was requested to facilitate pre-procedure planning. Standard equipment for intrathecal injections was utilized. All children were followed up by their referring neurologist.

Results

A total of 104 intrathecal nusinersen injections were performed in 26 children with 100% technical success. Sixty procedures were performed without pre-procedural imaging and via standard interspinous technique. The remaining 44 procedures were performed in 11 complex (i.e. neuromuscular scoliosis or spinal instrumentation) patients requiring pre-procedural imaging for planning purposes. Nineteen of the 44 complex procedures were performed via standard interspinous technique from L2 to S1. Twenty-two of the 44 complex procedures were performed using a neural-foraminal approach from L3 to L5. Three of the 44 complex procedures were performed via cervical puncture technique. There were no immediate or long-term complications but there was one child with short-term complications of meningismus and back pain at the injection site.

Conclusion

Although we achieved 100% technical success in intrathecal nusinersen administration, our practices evolved during the course of this study. As a result of our early experience we developed an algorithm to assist in promoting safe and effective nusinersen administration in children with spinal muscular atrophy regardless of SMA type, abnormal spinal anatomy and complex spinal instrumentation.

Keywords

Cervical puncture Children Neural-foraminal lumbar approach Nusinersen Spinal muscular atrophy Spinraza 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad A. Mousa
    • 1
    • 2
  • David J. Aria
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carrie M. Schaefer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robin D. Kaye
    • 1
    • 2
  • Todd A. Abruzzo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saunder M. Bernes
    • 3
  • Scott D. Willard
    • 1
  • Monique C. Riemann
    • 1
  • Richard B. Towbin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyPhoenix Children’s HospitalPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.University of Arizona College of Medicine-PhoenixPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyPhoenix Children’s HospitalPhoenixUSA

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