(HealthDay News) — Atraumatic needles appear to be effective for preventing postdural puncture headache (PDPH), according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

Ana Castrillo, MD, from the General Hospital in Segovia, Spain, and colleagues examined the impact of atraumatic vs. traumatic needle type on incidence of PDPH. Patients aged >14 years who were scheduled for a diagnostic or therapeutic lumbar puncture were randomized to atraumatic Sprotte (S)-type needle or traumatic Quincke (Q)-type needle. To assess PDPH development, participants were interviewed on days two and seven.

The researchers found that the incidence of PDPH was 22.43 and 8.51% with the Q-type and S-type needles (P=0.04). The duration of PDPH was one day or less with S-type needles and 4.14 days with Q-type (P=0.00). The only significant predictive factors in the development of post-lumbar puncture headache were S-type needle and age of patient, both of which were protective.

“Our study confirms the effectiveness of the atraumatic needle to prevent PDPH,” the authors write. “We recommend the use and implementation of atraumatic needles for diagnostic and therapeutic lumbar puncture in standard neurological practice.”

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