Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2021 Mar 16. doi: 10.1111/aas.13816. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: We set out to examine incidence of chronic headache and back pain in women with PDPH after accidental dural puncture during labor.
METHODS: Chronic headache, backache and disability were assessed 18-24 months postpartum. Women with PDPH treated with epidural blood patch (PDPH-EBP) were identified and matched with women who had a PDPH without epidural blood patch (PDPH-no EBP), with women with uncomplicated epidural analgesia and with women without epidural analgesia. Our primary outcome was incidence of chronic headache and backache. Secondary outcome was the effect of epidural blood patch on chronic pain development. We used Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test to calculate odds ratios.
RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference in demographic characteristics between groups. In the no epidural group, no women reported chronic headache, 2/116 (1.7%) reported chronic backache. In the uncomplicated epidural group, no women reported chronic headache, 7/116 (6.0%) reported chronic backache. In the PDPH-no EBP group 9/56 (16.1%) women reported chronic headache, 10/56 (17.9%) reported chronic backache. In the PDPH-EBP group, 12/59 (20.3%) had chronic headache, 14/59 (23.7%) had chronic backache. No women in the no epidural or uncomplicated epidural group reported disability (chronic pain score of 3 or 4). High disability was reported by 8.9% of women in the PDPH-no EBP group and by 8.4% in the PDPH-EBP group.
CONCLUSION: Women with PDPH had a high incidence of chronic headache, back pain and disability. We did not find a statistically significant difference in chronic pain development between conservatively treated and EBP treated patients.