WRMC Physician and Lyon Student Recognized for Collaborative Research

Meraj Siddiqui MD, Kaylin Cesarski, Kasey Sharp RNDr. Meraj Siddiqui, White River Medical Center (WRMC) Pain Management Clinic physician, and Kaylin Cesarski, Pre-Med student at Lyon College, recently presented a research paper on behalf of the WRMC Pain Management Clinic during the scientific session of the 69th Annual Post Graduate Assembly (PGA) meeting of the New York Society of Anesthesiologists in New York. Kasey Sharp, RN at the WRMC Pain Management Clinic, provided assistance during the session.

New York Society of Anesthesiologists is the oldest society of anesthesiologists in the world. It is one of the most respected scientific forums for anesthesia and pain management. Top scientists from all over the world were in attendance to present their state of the art scientific research at the 69th PGA meeting.  The Siddiqui/Cersarski study was one of two studies from Arkansas selected to be presented at the conference. 

Dr. Siddiqui has always been devoted to and passionate about research, specifically research regarding the implantable pain pump. Over the past year, Dr. Siddiqui and Kaylin Cesarski have been working on the study titled, “Does the use of a personal therapy manager (PTM) prevent opioid withdrawals when converting from oral to intrathecal opiates?”

The pain pump is a therapy for chronic pain used after other therapies (surgery, high doses of oral opioids, and other interventional therapies) fail to provide long-term pain control. The pain pump delivers medication directly to the spinal cord. For unpredictable or breakthrough pain, a device called a Personal Therapy Manager (PTM) can be used by the patient to deliver an extra dose of medication (within limits set by the physician) so that oral medication can be discontinued.  The purpose of this study was to evaluate how the device can prevent opioid withdrawals when switching from oral Morphine (taken by the mouth) to intrathecal Morphine (injected in the spinal cord).

Currently patients often continue to take oral opioids with the intrathecal opioids once the pump is placed for breakthrough pain, which increases the likelihood of opioid overdose. If the oral medication is discontinued immediately after pump placement, patients may experience severe breakthrough pain.  To prevent these episodes, the PTM device is used to deliver a set amount of medication for breakthrough pain.

As the first study done to establish the role of a PTM when converting from oral to intrathecal Morphine therapy, it sparked interest and was well-received among those in attendance at the conference.

Pictured from left; Meraj Siddiqui, M.D., Kaylin Cesarski, and Kasey Sharp, RN