Post dural puncture headache following intrathecal drug delivery system placement

Stephanie A. Neuman, Jason S. Eldrige, Wenchun Qu, Eric D. Freeman, Bryan C. Hoelzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Placement of an intrathecal drug delivery system (IDDS) may provide substantial benefit to certain patients. However, placement of these devices is not without complications, and minimal data exist describing the rates of these complications. Specifically, there is a paucity of data describing the incidence of post dural puncture headache (PDPH) following IDDS placement. Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the incidence and treatment course of PDPH following placement of an IDDS in a retrospective review. Study Design: Retrospective assessment of medical records. Setting: Department of Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Methods: Following IRB approval, 319 IDDS surgical reports in 285 patients were identified retrospectively over a 20 year study time period. We report demographic information, number of dural punctures, techniques for sealing dural leak, details, and treatment course of PDPH in this population. Results: Symptoms of PDPH were recognized in 73 individual cases (23% of total procedural volume). Younger patient age was the only statistically significant characteristic in predicting development of a PDPH. There were no statistically significant differences found in regards to other risk factors for PDPH development or treatment strategy employed. Seventy-nine percent of PDPH patients were successfully managed with conservative non-interventional therapies (bedrest, IV fluids, analgesics, antiemetics), while 21% required progression to epidural blood or fibrin glue patch procedures for full resolution of symptoms. Limitations: Limitations include the retrospective design of the study as well as the potential for undocumented or improperly documented surgical techniques and/or events. Conclusion: Though the development of PDPH after IDDS implantation was found to be fairly common (23% incidence), the majority of these patients had self-limited symptoms that resolved with conservative medical management. Epidural blood patch or application of epidural fibrin glue was therapeutically successful for the remainder of PDPH patients who were refractory to conservative measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalPain physician
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Baclofen
  • Intrathecal drug delivery system
  • Morphine
  • Pain
  • Pain pump
  • Postdural puncture headache
  • Spinal headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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