Postpartum headache after epidural blood patch: investigation and diagnosis.
Use of an epidural blood patch to treat spinal headache after accidental dural puncture is well recognized. The high success rate associated with this practice has been questioned and it is not uncommon for patients to suffer recurring headaches after a supposedly successful blood patch. We describe a patient in labour who suffered accidental dural puncture, and whose headache was treated twice with an epidural blood patch. Despite this, the headache persisted. The case highlights the difficulty in the diagnosis of headache in the postnatal period in patients who have had regional analgesia and the importance of considering an alternative pathology, even if epidural blood patching has been successful. In this case, a diagnosis of cortical vein thrombosis was made. The incidence, presentation, aetiology and treatment of this rare condition is described. (+info)
Effectiveness of epidural blood patch in the management of post-dural puncture headache.
BACKGROUND: Lumbar epidural blood patch (EBP) is a common treatment of post-dural puncture headache, but its effectiveness and mode of action remain a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to assess both the effectiveness and the predictive factors of failure of EBP on severe post-dural puncture headache. METHODS: This prospective observational study includes all patients treated in the authors' hospital with EBP for incapacitating post-dural puncture headache, from 1988 to 2000. The EBP effect was classified into complete relief (disappearance of all symptoms), incomplete relief of symptoms (clinically improved patients who recovered sufficiently to perform normal daily activity), and failure (persistence of severe symptoms). The following data were analyzed using a logistic regression to identify predictive factors of failure of EBP: (1) patient characteristics; (2) circumstances of dural puncture; (3) delay between dural puncture and EBP; and (4) the volume of blood injected for EBP. RESULTS: A total of 504 patients were analyzed. The frequency rates of complete relief, incomplete relief of symptoms, and failure after EBP were 75% (n = 377), 18% (n = 93), and 7% (n = 34), respectively. In a multivariate analysis, only the diameter of the needle used to perform dura mater puncture (odds ratio = 5.96; 95% confidence interval, 2.63-13.47; P < 0.001) and a delay in EBP less than 4 days (odds ratio = 2.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-6.51; P = 0.037) were independent significant risk factors for a failure of EBP. CONCLUSIONS: Epidural blood patch is an effective treatment of severe post-dural puncture headache. Its effectiveness is decreased if dura mater puncture is caused by a large bore needle. (+info)
Subdural haematoma after dural puncture headache treated by epidural blood patch.
Subdural haematoma is a well-documented complication of accidental dural puncture, and is thought to be preventable by prompt treatment with an epidural blood patch. An accidental dural puncture occurred in a 39-yr-old primagravida during the siting of an epidural catheter for pain relief in labour. Twenty hours after the puncture, the mother developed a typical postdural puncture headache, which increased in severity over the subsequent 24 h. An epidural blood patch was performed at 48 h, and this initially relieved the headache. After discharge from hospital, and 14 days after the dural puncture, the headache recurred, together with expressive dysphasia, poor co-ordination and sensory loss in the right arm. A magnetic resonance imaging scan demonstrated a left sided subdural haematoma, which was drained successfully with complete recovery. (+info)
Postpartum cerebral ischaemia after accidental dural puncture and epidural blood patch.
Puerperal women are reported to have a rate of cerebral infarction 13 times greater than non-pregnant females. We report a case of cerebral ischaemia in a 30-yr-old healthy parturient after epidural analgesia for labour, complicated by dural puncture treated with two epidural blood patches. Investigations showed the development of cerebral ischaemia on postpartum day 14. A transcranial Doppler ultrasonography showed vasospasm of the left middle cerebral artery still present at 3-month follow-up. At 1-yr follow-up, the patient had homonymous hemianopsia. We discuss the possible causative mechanism of the cerebral ischaemia in relation to the dural puncture and epidural blood patch. (+info)
Recurrent post-partum seizures after epidural blood patch.
There are many causes for headaches after childbirth. Even though postdural puncture headache (PDPH) has to be considered in a woman with a history of difficult epidural anaesthesia, pre-eclampsia should always be excluded as an important differential diagnosis. We report a case with signs of late-onset pre-eclampsia where administration of an epidural blood patch (EBP) was associated with eclampsia. A hypothetical causal relationship between the EBP and seizures was discarded on the basis of evidence presented in this report. (+info)
Post-dural puncture headache: pathogenesis, prevention and treatment.
Spinal anaesthesia developed in the late 1800s with the work of Wynter, Quincke and Corning. However, it was the German surgeon, Karl August Bier in 1898, who probably gave the first spinal anaesthetic. Bier also gained first-hand experience of the disabling headache related to dural puncture. He correctly surmised that the headache was related to excessive loss of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In the last 50 yr, the development of fine-gauge spinal needles and needle tip modification, has enabled a significant reduction in the incidence of post-dural puncture headache. Though it is clear that reducing the size of the dural perforation reduces the loss of CSF, there are many areas regarding the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of post-dural puncture headache that remain contentious. How does the microscopic pattern of collagen alignment in the spinal dura affect the dimensions of the dural perforation? How do needle design, size and orientation influence leakage of CSF through the dural perforation? Can pharmacological methods reduce the symptoms of post-dural puncture headache? By which mechanism does the epidural blood patch cure headache? Is there a role for the prophylactic epidural blood patch? Do epidural saline, dextran, opioids and tissue glues reduce the rate of CSF loss? This review considers these contentious aspects of post-dural puncture headache. (+info)
In vitro effects of local anaesthetics on the thromboelastographic profile of parturients.
BACKGROUND: Post-dural puncture headache can be an incapacitating complication of obstetric epidural analgesia/anaesthesia and early or prophylactic epidural blood patch (EBP) is one of the treatment options. Although local anaesthetic (LA) agents have been shown to have anticoagulation effects in vitro, peri-partum women are known to be hypercoagulable. We postulated that the presence of residual LA might not result in impaired haemostasis of the EBP in parturients. METHODS: Blood samples from 10 healthy term parturients were subjected to thromboelastography after the addition of four different LA (lidocaine, bupivacaine, levobupivacaine, and ropivacaine) preparations. RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in reaction (R) and coagulation (K) time (P<0.001, P<0.05) and an increase in alpha degrees angle (P<0.01) when comparing undiluted blood with the saline control group. Maximum amplitude (MA) and clot lysis (Ly30) did not change significantly despite the 50% dilution. The thromboelastographic parameters of all four LA-treated groups were no different from their saline controls and from each other. CONCLUSION: At clinical dosages, LA did not cause any hypocoagulable changes on the thromboelastographic profile of healthy parturients. (+info)
Efficacy of a prophylactic epidural blood patch in preventing post dural puncture headache in parturients after inadvertent dural puncture.
BACKGROUND: Postdural puncture headache (PDPH) occurs in up to 80% of parturients who experience inadvertent dural puncture during epidural catheter placement. The authors performed a randomized double blind study to assess the effect of prophylactic epidural blood patch on the incidence of PDPH and the need for therapeutic epidural blood patch. METHODS: Sixty-four parturients who incurred inadvertent dural puncture were randomized to receive a prophylactic epidural blood patch with 20 ml autologous blood (prophylactic epidural blood patch group) or a sham patch (sham group). Subjects were evaluated daily for development of PDPH for a minimum of 5 days after dural puncture. Those who developed a PDPH were followed daily for a minimum of 3 days after resolution of the headache. Subjects with moderate headaches who reported difficulties performing childcare activities and all those with severe headaches were advised to receive a therapeutic epidural blood patch. RESULTS: Eighteen of 32 subjects in each group (56%) developed PDPH. Therapeutic blood patch was recommended in similar numbers of patients in each group. The groups had similar onset time of PDPH, median peak pain scores, and number of days spent unable to perform childcare activities as a result of postural headache. The median duration of PDPH, however, was shorter in the prophylactic epidural blood patch group. CONCLUSIONS: A decrease in the incidence of PDPH or the need for criteria-directed therapeutic epidural patch was not detected when a prophylactic epidural blood patch was administered to parturients after inadvertent dural puncture. However, prophylactic epidural blood patch did shorten the duration of PDPH symptoms. (+info)