A systematic review of original research articles was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lidocaine infusion in the treatment of adult patients with chronic neuropathic pain.
Materials and Methods:
Original research from 1970 to September 2021 describing adult patients with chronic neuropathic pain receiving at least 1 dose of intravenous lidocaine was included. Extracted data included study design, sample size, patient demographics and comorbidities, etiology and duration of pain, pain intensity scores, time to pain resolution, lidocaine dose and administration frequency, lidocaine serum concentration, and adverse events. Each study was evaluated for level of evidence using the 2017 American Association of Neurology classification system.
Twenty-seven studies evaluating lidocaine infusion treatment in chronic neuropathic pain met inclusion criteria. One class I study was identified for patients with neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury . Two Class II studies were identified, one describing neuropathic pain due to peripheral nerve injury and another due to diabetic neuropathy. Across all studies, study design, participants, and experimental interventions were heterogenous with wide variation.
This qualitative review found insufficient, heterogenous evidence and therefore no recommendation can be made for lidocaine infusion treatment in patients with chronic neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve injury, diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, or complex regional pain syndrome type II. Larger randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are required to further establish the efficacy of lidocaine infusion in patients with these etiologies of chronic neuropathic pain.