[Post-dural puncture headache]

K Radke, O C Radke
Der Anaesthesist 2013, 62 (2): 149-61
Headache following dural puncture is a typical complication of neuraxial analgesia and can impair the ability to perform activities of daily living up to incapacitation. The use of thin, atraumatic needles and special puncture techniques (e.g. reinsertion of the stylet) can prevent the majority of post-dural puncture headaches (PDPH). One of the most effective measures to prevent headache after accidental dural puncture is the intrathecal or epidural administration of morphine. When the diagnosis of PDPH is confirmed after excluding relevant differential diagnoses, some of which are potentially life-threatening, caffeine, theophylline and non-opioid analgesics are effective agents to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Traditional measures, such as strict bed rest and hyperhydration can no longer be recommended. If invasive treatment of the headache is warranted an epidural blood patch is still the method of choice with a high rate of success.

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