A Study to Evaluate Ketamine to Treat Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Patients with Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injuries


About this study

The purpose of this study is to assess pre- and postoperative neuropathic pain in patients with traumatic brachial plexus injuries to determine if intraoperative ketamine infusion affect neuropathic pain associated with avulsion injuries of the brachial plexus. 

A secondary goal is to determine the duration of pain relief following ketamine infusions.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients with neuropathic pain associated with avulsion injuries following traumatic
brachial plexus injuries scheduled for brachial plexus exploration and reconstruction
by three senior surgeons at Mayo Clinic (AYS, ATB, RJS):

- Neuropathic pain defined as pain directly related to injury to the somatosensory
system, and score >4/10 on the Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions (DN4) neuropathic
pain questionnaire. Symptoms of neuropathic pain include allodynia, hyperalgesia,
burning, needle-like, throbbing, shooting, or electrical-type sensation.

- Nerve root avulsion on CT myelogram.

- Traumatic brachial plexus injuries defined as blunt or penetrating trauma resulting in
injury and dysfunction along the course of the brachial plexus defined as nerve roots
C5-T1, trunks, divisions, cords, and terminal branches.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients without pain following traumatic brachial plexus injuries.

- Patients with brachial plexus injuries due to non-traumatic causes such as tumors,
infection, radiation, or inflammatory disorders such as Parsonage Turner Syndrome.

- Patients who do not require surgery for exploration/reconstruction at the brachial

- Patients under 18 years of age.

- Contraindication to ketamine use (severe hepatic dysfunction -cirrhosis, high-risk
coronary artery disease, poorly controlled psychiatric condition- schizophrenia.

Eligibility last updated 6/21/22. Questions regarding updates should be directed to the study team contact.


Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Alexander Shin, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Courtney Carlson Strother M.D.


More information


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