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Intrathecal Space


Updated June 22, 2010

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Definition: Also known as the subarachnoid space, the intrathecal space is the fluid-filled area located between the innermost layer of covering (the pia mater) of the spinal cord and the middle layer of covering (the arachnoid mater). The intrathecal space may serve as a route of administration for drugs used in implantable pain management treatments. Implanted drug pumps, also known as pain pumps or morphine pumps, use this route. This bypasses the need for the body to digest and absorb the medication, which usually translates into better pain control using smaller doses. For people with severe, relentless pain, this may provide significantly more pain relief than other therapies.
Also Known As: subarachnoid space
The intrathecal space is synonymous with the term subarachnoid space. The intrathecal space is very close to the spinal cord.
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