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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-166

Do pencil-point spinal needles decrease the incidence of postdural puncture headache in reality? A comparative study between pencil-point 25G Whitacre and cutting-beveled 25G Quincke spinal needles in 320 obstetric patients

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Calcutta National Medical College (CNMC), Kolkata, India
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Bangur Institute of Neurology(BIN), Kolkata, India
3 Specialist Medical Officer (Anesthesiology), West Bengal Health Service, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Institute of Post-Graduation Medical Education and Research (IPGME and R), Kolkata, India

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Anirban Pal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0259-1162.94757

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Background: Postdural puncture headache (PDPH) is a distressing complication of the subarachnoid block. The previous studies conducted, including the recent ones, do not conclusively prove that pencil-point spinal needles decrease the incidence of PDPH. In this study, we have tried to find out whether a pencil-point Whitacre needle is a better alternative than the classic cutting beveled, commonly used, Quincke spinal needle, in patients at risk of PDPH. Materials and Methods: Three hundred and twenty obstetric patients, 20-36 years of age, ASA I and II, posted for Cesarean section under subarachnoid block, were randomly assigned into two groups W and Q, where 25G Whitacre and 25G Quincke spinal needles were used, respectively. The primary objective of the study was to find out the difference in incidence of PDPH, if any, between the two groups, by using the t test and Chi square test. Results: The incidence of PDPH was 5% in group W and 28.12% in group Q, and the difference in incidence was statistically significant (P<0.001). Conclusion: The pencil-point 25G Whitacre spinal needle causes less incidence of PDPH compared to the classic 25G Quincke needle, and is recommended for use in patients at risk of PDPH.

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