Matas Kalinauskas, Mantilė Juotkutė
Introduction: Over the past decades, the number of women choosing to have epidural analgesia or undergoing spinal anesthesia during labor is steadily increasing. Consequently, a risk for complications is increasing. Post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) is considered one of the most common complication following accidental dural puncture (ADP).
Sources and a method: A literature overview were conducted via search engine “PubMed (Medline)” and “Google Scholar”. Randomized controlled trials, meta – analysis, retrospective, prospective trials and systemic reviews on PDPH were selected.
Aim of the review: To evaluate the most commonly described risk factors, clinical presentation and prevention of PDPH in the obstetric field.
Results: The occurrence of ADP during neuraxial anesthesia reported in the literature is relatively small – 0,1 – 1,5%. PDPH is a potentially expected complication after any lumbar punction. It presents as a headache within five days of the puncture due to low cerebrospinal fluid pressure. The pain is often bilateral, located in the frontal or occipital areas. Symptoms, such as vision and hearing impairment, neck pain and nausea might follow. Usually, the symptoms fade out spontaneously within two weeks. Risk factors for PDPH are modifiable (technique of the injection and anesthesiologist’s skills) and non-modifiable (pregnancy, low body mass index (BMI), dehydration, history of PDPH). The goal of preventing PDPH is to identify and correct the risk factors associated with this condition. Main described means being equipment and experience, conservative measures, administration of epidural morphine, intravenous dexamethasone or cosyntropin, epidural blood patch and intrathecal catheter.
Conclusions: 1. PDPH manifests as an orthostatic headache with or without ocular, neural, hearing and other symptoms. 2. Young pregnant women with low BMI are more likely to suffer from PDPH. 3. PDPH prevention consists of risk factor correction and proper medical techniques.
Keyword(s): analgesia, post-dural puncture headache, obstetrical anesthesia.