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Sprotte Needle for Obstetric Anesthesia: Decreased Incidence of Post Dural Puncture Headache
  1. Brian K. Ross, PH.D., M.D.*,
  2. C. Benedetti, M.D.,
  3. H. S. Chadwick, M.D.** and
  4. Joseph J. Mancuso, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington, Seattle.
  2. *Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Washington.
  3. **Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Washington.
  4. Staff Anesthesiologist, Madigan Army Hospital, Olympia, Washington.
  5. Professor of Anesthesiology, Ohio State University, Columbus.
  1. Address reprint requests to Brian K. Ross, Ph.D., M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, RN-10, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.


Background and Objectives. Reports have emphasized the importance of spinal needle tip configuration in the development of post dural puncture headache (PDPH).

Methods. Charts from 366 consecutive obstetric patients receiving spinal anesthesia for labor, cesarean delivery, postpartum surgical procedures, or postpartum tubal ligations were reviewed retro-spectively for evidence of PDPH in the five days after dural puncture. Spinal anesthesia was administered to these patients using 25-gauge Quincke ( n = 74), 26-gauge Quincke ( n = 160), or 24-gauge Sprotte ( n = 132) spinal needles.

Results. The groups were well matched demographically. The incidence of PDPH in the three groups was 9%, 8%, and 1.5%, respectively. Half of the patients developing PDPH in each group were treated with an epidural blood patch.

Conclusions. Our data indicate that the Sprotte spinal needle, with its non-cutting tip, results in a significantly lower ( p < 0.05) incidence of PDPH than Quincke cutting-tip needles of smaller gauge.

  • Complications
  • obstetric anesthesia
  • Quincke needle
  • spinal anesthesia
  • post dural puncture headache
  • spinal needle
  • Sprotte needle.

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