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Radiology. 1996 Sep;200(3):765-70.

Postmyelography headache: a review.

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Radiologic Health Services Research Program, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The author reviews the topic of postdural puncture headache (PDPH) so radiologists can better understand, prevent, and treat this common complication of myelography. PDPH, a postural headache relieved by lying supine, occurs after 36.0%-58.2% of myelographic procedures performed with 22-gauge Quincke needles. It begins within 3 days and lasts 3-5 days. Thin, young women are more likely to develop PDPH. Smaller gauge needles, blunt-tip needles, a paramedian approach, and parallel orientation of a bevel needle are associated with lower PDPH rates. Intravenous hydration, no removal of cerebrospinal fluid, experience of the myelographer, and inpatient status have been inconsistently associated with lower PDPH rates. Treatment is supportive with bed rest. Oral or intravenous methylxanthine agents may be given for more severe PDPH. An epidural blood patch, although rarely needed, is very effective.

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