Researchers find effective method in treating post-dural puncture headaches

Lee Han-soo  Published 2018.05.15  11:27  Updated 2018.05.15 11:27

Professors Lee Young-jun (left) and Professors Lee Joon-woo

Researchers at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) have proved that fluoroscopy guided epidural autologous blood patch (EBP) is effective in treating post-dural puncture headaches, the hospital said Monday.

Patients, who undergo dural puncture surgeries, often revisit hospitals after leaving the hospital due to symptoms such as severe headaches, dizziness and vomiting. Such symptoms are caused by post-dural puncture headache, a type of a somatotropic headache, which happens when the cerebrospinal fluid continues to flow out. The symptom worsens if a patient either sits or stands up and alleviates when the patients lay down.

Ordinarily, 0.1 to 36 percent of the patients experience post-dural puncture headache, which usually occurs within 48 hours after the surgery. In some cases, it usually takes more than a few weeks for the symptoms to disappear.

In most cases, patients recover after drinking sufficient amount of water and resting. However, if the symptoms do not improve, medical professionals opt for an aggressive medication or an EPB.

EPB is a procedure where medical professionals inject the patient’s blood into the epidural space around the suspected part of the cerebrospinal fluid leak. The injected blood then coagulates and stops any further leaks.

The research team, led by Professors Lee Young-jun and Lee Joon-woo of the Radiology department at the hospital, conducted the effect of EPB on headache relief.

The team evaluated 164 patients who underwent EPB from November 2013 to April 2017. The team then analyzed the degree of the headaches and the patient’s quality of life after treatment.

As a result, a total of 157 patients had their headache symptoms wholly cured, while those who had recurrent headaches after the surgery also showed promising results after additional surgery.

“Post-dural puncture headache can be common in patients, but if the clinician does not know about the proper treatment, they will likely use conventional methods to remove the headaches,” Professor Lee said. “If a patient complains of a persistent headache after receiving a dural puncture or spinal anesthesia, patients should consider the procedure after a consultation with a specialist.”

Journal of the Korean Society of Radiology published the result of the study.

<© KBR , All rights reserved.>