Give me a Sprotte Not a Headache!

Davis A, Dobson R, Kaninia S, Espasandin M, Berg A, Giovannoni G, Schmierer K.Change practice now! Using atraumatic needles to prevent post lumbar puncture headache.Eur J Neurol. 2014;21:305-11. doi: 10.1111/ene.12307. 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Lumbar puncture (LP) is a key diagnostic procedure in medicine. Post lumbar puncture headache (PLPHA) is a well recognized complication of LP. Evidence suggests that using atraumatic needles for diagnostic LP (ATNLP) reduces risk of PLPHA. However, clinicians in Europe and the USA routinely use traumatic needles for diagnostic LP (TNLP). The occurrence of PLPHA following ATNLP and TNLP was compared in a clinical setting. Further, a survey was performed exploring use of ATNLP amongst UK neurologists.
METHODS:Service development study. Patients were followed up 2 and 7 days after LP using blinded telephone assessment. A questionnaire was developed to assess use of ATNLP amongst UK neurologists. Frequency, onset, duration and severity of PLPHA were recorded as were use of analgesia, general practitioner consultations, hospital readmissions, days off work due to PLPHA and cost. Neurologists were asked about their familiarity with, and use of, ATNLP.
RESULTS:One hundred and nine participants attending the Royal London Hospital were included, and 74 attendees of the Association of British Neurologists 2012 conference completed an on-site questionnaire. ATNLP reduced the rate of PLPHA (27.1% vs. 60.4%; P < 0.01). In those participants who developed PLPHA symptoms were short lived (mean 50 h vs. 94 h, P = 0.02) and less severe after ATNLP. Use of ATNLP led to significant cost savings. Only one in five UK neurologists regularly use ATNLP stating lack of training and availability of atraumatic needles as main reasons.
CONCLUSIONS:ATNLP significantly reduces the risk of PLPHA. Training is required 3 to facilitate a change from TNLP to ATNLP amongst clinicians.


Replication indicates this has merit. 

Change your practise and ask for a non- traumatic needle if offered a LP!

Bertolotto A, Malentacchi M, Capobianco M, di Sapio A, Malucchi S, Motuzova Y, Pulizzi A, Berchialla P, Sperli FThe use of the 25 Sprotte needle markedly reduces post-dural puncture headache in routine neurological practice. Cephalalgia. 2015 . pii: 0333102415583983. [Epub ahead of print]
OBJECTIVES:The objectives of this article are to test the feasibility of lumbar puncture (LP) using 25-gauge (G) needles in daily neurological practice and to compare the risk of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) with four types of needles.
METHODS:In a prospective rater-blind study, pros and cons of four different LP needles, the 20G Quincke (20Q), 22G Sprotte (22S), 25G Whitacre (25W) and 25G Sprotte (25S), were evaluated in 394 LPs performed by seven neurologists. The neurologist performing the LP recorded the type and size of needle, intensity of pain, safety, time of the procedure and failure or success. Between five and 15 days later another neurologist, blind to the type of needle used, completed an ad-hoc questionnaire for PDPH.
RESULTS: PDPH developed in 35.9% patients when using a 20Q needle, and in 12.9%, 6.8% and 1.6%, respectively, when using a 22S, 25W or 25S needle. The difference in incidence of PDPH following LP performed with the 20Q needle and the 25S or 22S was statistically significant (p < 0.001 and p = 0.008, respectively) and it approached significance when comparing the 25S and 25W (p = 0.06). As 25W and 25S needles need CSF aspiration, LP requires more time and skill. Pain caused by LP was similar with the four needles.
CONCLUSION: The use of the 25S needle in diagnostic LP reduces the frequency and severity of PDPH.

Castrillo A, Tabernero C, García-Olmos LM, Gil C, Gutiérrez R, Zamora MI, Mendoza A, Rodríguez MF, Guerrero P, Rodríguez-Vico JS, Ferrero M, Morollón N, Duarte J.Postdural puncture headache: impact of needle type, a randomized trial. Spine J. 2015. pii: S1529-9430(15)00221-1.BACKGROUND CONTEXT: The most common adverse event after a lumbar puncture (LP) is a headache: In anaesthesiology, well studied is the protective effect of atraumatic spinal needles, and they are routinely used. However, this is less well known in diagnostic LP, and neurologists use atraumatic needles in less than 2% of times.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to define the impact of needle type, atraumatic (Sprotte [S]) versus traumatic (Quincke [Q]) on post duralpuncture headache (PDPH) incidence.
STUDY DESIGN: The study is based on a prospective, randomized, and simple-blinded clinical trial.
PATIENT SAMPLE: Patients older than 14 years were scheduled for a diagnostic or therapeutic LP.
OUTCOME MEASURES:The outcome measure included the development of PDPH according to the International Headache Association criteria.
METHODS: Patients fulfilling eligibility criteria were randomly allocated to one of two kinds of spinal needle: atraumatic or S-type or traumatic or Q-type. They were interviewed on days 2 and 7 about the development of PDPH.
RESULTS: The incidence of PDPH was 22.43% with Q-type needle and 8.51% with S-type needle, p=.04. The duration of PDPH in patients in the S-type was 1 day or less, compared with a median of 4.14 days in the Q-type (p=.00). In the logistic regression model, the S-type needle together with the age of the patient were the only two statistically significant factors in the development of postlumbar puncture headache (PLPH), both of them being protective.
CONCLUSIONS: We found a lower incidence of PDPH with atraumatic needles, and it was statistically significant compared with the traumatic needles. Our study confirms the effectiveness of the atraumatic needles to prevent PDPH.

Engedal TS, Ørding H, Vilholm OJ. Changing the needle for lumbar punctures: results from a prospective study. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2015;130:74-9
OBJECTIVE:Post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) is a common complication of diagnostic lumbar punctures. Both a non-cutting needle design and the use of smaller size needles have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of PDPH. Nevertheless, larger cutting needles are still widely used. This study describes the process of changing the needle in an outpatient clinic of a Danish neurology department.
METHODS: Prospective interventional trial. Phase 1: 22G cutting needle. Phase 2: 25G non-cutting needle. Practical usability of each needle was recorded during the procedure, while the rate of PDPH and the occurrence of socioeconomic complications were acquired from a standardized questionnaire.
RESULTS: 651 patients scheduled for diagnostic lumbar punctures were screened for participation and 501 patients were included. The response rate was 80% in both phases. In phase 2, significant reductions were observed in occurrence of PDPH (21 vs. 50, p=0.001), number of days spent away from work (55 vs. 175, p<0.001), hospitalizations (2 vs. 17, p<0.001), and number of bloodpatch treatments (2 vs. 10, p=0.019). Furthermore, during the procedure, both the need for multiple attempts (30% vs. 44%, p=0.001), and the failure-rate of the first operator (17% vs. 29%, p=0.005) were reduced.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that smaller, non-cutting needles reduce the incidence of PDPH and are easily implemented in an outpatient clinic. Changing the needle resulted in fewer socioeconomic complications and fewer overall costs, while also reducing procedural difficulty.

Pelzer N, Vandersteene J, Bekooij TJ, Schoonman GG, Wirtz PW, Vanopdenbosch LJ, Koppen H.Are atraumatic spinal needles as efficient as traumatic needles for lumbar puncture? Neurol Sci. 2014;35:1997-9The most frequent complication of lumbar puncture is post lumbar puncture headache (PLPH). Recent studies confirmed that the use of atraumatic spinal needles significantly reduces the risk of PLPH. However, the majority of neurologists still use traumatic needles, possibly caused by misconceptions and beliefs about practical performance of atraumatic spinal needles. Therefore, we investigated the practical characteristics of atraumatic and traumatic spinal needles. An experimental setup with a fluid column was used with (1) a physiological NaCl 0.9 % solution and (2) a high protein content solution. Flow rates and duration of pressure measurements were measured using a traumatic needle and an atraumatic needle. The average flow rate differed less than 10 % between the two needle types with NaCl solution, and for the high protein solution the difference was even smaller. Time taken to perform accurate pressure measurements did not differ between the two needle types using NaCl 0.9 %, and was even slightly shorter for the atraumatic needle when using the high protein solution. Average flow rates and duration of pressure measurements are comparable between atraumatic spinal needles and traumatic needles. Therefore, these performance characteristics are no reason to favour traumatic needles over atraumatic needles.