Evaluation of 25-gauge Quincke and 24-gauge Gertie Marx needles for spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section

East Afr Med J. 2002 Jul;79(7):379-81. doi: 10.4314/eamj.v79i7.8843.


Objective: To compare the insertion characteristics and rate of complications between 25-gauge Quincke and 24-gauge Gertie Marx needles.

Design: Prospective, randomized study.

Setting: University of Benin Teaching Hospital; a university-affiliated tertiary centre.

Subjects: Parturients (ASA 1 and 2) scheduled for elective caesarean section. They were randomly assigned to receive spinal anaesthesia with either 25-gauge Quincke needle or 24-gauge Gertie Marx needle. The patients with abnormal spaces, coagulopathy, infection, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia or obesity were excluded.

Main outcome measures: The number of attempts at successful identification of the spinal space, intraoperative complications, incidence of postdural puncture headache (PDPH), non-postdural puncture headache (NPDPH) and backache.

Results: Sixty women were studied. The 24-gauge Gertie Marx needle resulted in more successful location of the spinal space on the second attempt (P<0.05). Non-postdural puncture headache was seen in 43% of the study population. PDPH was seen in 10% of the Quincke group and none in the Gertie Marx group. There was no difference in the incidence of backache in both groups.

Conclusion: The ease of insertion and low incidence of PDPH with the Gertie Marx needle may encourage trainee anaesthetists to use this needle for caesarean section.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Spinal / instrumentation*
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Headache / classification
  • Headache / epidemiology
  • Headache / etiology
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / epidemiology
  • Hypotension / etiology
  • Incidence
  • Nausea / epidemiology
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Needles / adverse effects
  • Needles / standards*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spinal Puncture / instrumentation*
  • Vomiting / epidemiology
  • Vomiting / etiology