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Ten years of experience with accidental dural puncture and post-dural puncture headache in a tertiary obstetric anaesthesia department

Published:August 08, 2008DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijoa.2007.04.009

      ABSTRACT

      Background

      Accidental dural puncture (ADP) and post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) are important complications of obstetric regional anaesthesia.

      Methods

      Between January 1997 and October 2006 in our tertiary obstetric referral centre 17 198 neuraxial blocks were recorded; 965 epidural, 16193 combined spinal-epidural and 40 spinal. Records of all parturients who experienced either ADP or PDPH were reviewed.

      Results

      There were 89 ADPs (0.5%), 55 observed and 34 in which PDPH followed unrecognised dural puncture. Following known ADP, 28 women had epidural catheters re-sited at a different lumbar interspace and 27 had intrathecal catheters for at least 24 h. Thirty-one women developed PDPH after observed ADP; the incidence of PDPH was similar after puncture with needle and catheter, after epidural and CSE techniques, after 27- and 29-gauge pencil-point spinal needles and after spinal and epidural catheter insertion (61% vs 52%; P > 0.05). All headaches presented within 72 h. A blood patch was needed in 26/55 women after known ADP and 27/34 unrecognised ADP. A repeat blood patch was needed in 8 (15%).

      Discussion

      The incidence of ADP, PDPH, blood patching and repeat blood patching is similar to previous studies. Many ADPs are unrecognised during epidural insertion. CSE does not appear to increase the risk of ADP or PDPH; 29-gauge rather than 27-gauge pencil-point spinal needles conferred no benefit. Inserting the epidural catheter intrathecally did not significantly reduce the incidence of PDPH and blood patching in our series.

      Keywords

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