The neurological safety of epidural gabapentin in rats: A light microscopic examination

Sang Sik Choi, Yong Chul Kim, Young Jin Lim, Chul Joong Lee, Pyung Bok Lee, Sang Chul Lee, Woo Seok Sim, Yoon La Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Gabapentin acts primarily on the central nervous system. Therefore, we hypothesized that the direct epidural administration of gabapentin could have various advantages over its oral administration with respect to required dose, side effects, and efficacy. However, before administering gabapentin into the epidural space in a clinical setting, its neurotoxicity must be examined in animals. Thus, we evaluated neurotoxicity of epidural gabapentin by observing behavioral and sensory-motor changes, and by histopathological examinations of spinal cords and dorsal root ganglia in the rat. Twenty-seven rats were randomly divided into 3 groups, which were administered 0.3 mL (30 mg) of epidural gabapentin (group G, n = 9) and the same volume of epidural alcohol (group A, n = 9) or normal saline (group N, n = 9). No rats in groups G and N showed sensory-motor dysfunction, behavioral change, or histopathological abnormalities over a 3-wk observation period, whereas all rats in group A showed abnormalities. We conclude that the direct epidural injection of gabapentin in rats did not show any neurotoxic evidence in terms of sensory-motor functions and behavior, or by a microscopic histopathological evaluation. This study represents a first promising step toward the trial of epidural gabapentin in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1426
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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