Post-dural (post-lumbar) puncture headache: risk factors and clinical features

Cephalalgia. 2012 Sep;32(12):916-23. doi: 10.1177/0333102412453951. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


Objective: This is an analytic, interventional, cross sectional study to evaluate the risk factors of post-dural (post-lumbar) puncture headache (PDPH) and the validity of the diagnostic criteria for PDPH from the ICHD II.

Methods: Six-hundred-and-forty patients (332 non-pregnant women and 308 men) aged 8-65 years underwent spinal anesthesia with Quincke 25G or 27G needles in elective surgery.

Results: Forty-eight (7.5%) of the patients developed PDPH. The binary logistic regression analysis identified as risk factors: gender [11.1% female vs. 3.6% male, OR 2.25 (1.07-4.73); p = 0.03], age [11.0% 31-50 years of age vs. 4.2% others, OR 2.21 (1.12-4.36); p = 0.02], previous history of PDPH [26.4% positive vs. 6.2% negative, OR 4.30 (1.99-9.31); p < 0.01] and bevel orientation [16.1% perpendicular vs. 5.7% parallel, OR 2.16 (1.07-4.35); p = 0.03]. The period of latency between lumbar puncture and headache onset range from 6 to 72 hours and the duration from 3 to 15 days. In 34/48 (71%) patients with PDPH, at least one of the following was present: neck stiffness, tinnitus, hypoacusia, photophobia, or nausea.

Conclusion: In conclusion, 14/48 patients (29%) suffered none of the above-mentioned symptoms, indicating that a significant number of patients may suffer from PDPH in the absence of any symptoms apart from the headache itself. This suggests that a further analyses of existing studies should be made to determine if a criteria change may need consideration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Post-Dural Puncture Headache / diagnosis*
  • Post-Dural Puncture Headache / epidemiology*
  • Post-Dural Puncture Headache / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Puncture / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult