Long-term morbidities following unintentional dural puncture in obstetric patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.


Journal Article (Systematic Review;Review;Journal Article)

Study objective

To investigate the association of unintentional dural puncture (UDP) and postdural puncture headache (PDPH) with the risk of chronic headache, backache, neckache and depression. We also investigated if epidural blood patch (EBP) is associated with reduced risk of these morbidities.


Systematic review and meta-analysis.


Pregnant women who experienced UDP and/or PDPH versus those who had uneventful neuraxial procedures, and women who received EBP versus those who did not.




Primary outcomes were headache, backache, and neckache lasting ≥12 months, and depression ≥1 month. Secondary outcomes included chronic headache, backache, and neckache persisting ≥1 and ≥ 6 months, and the effects of EBP on those outcomes at ≥1 and ≥ 12 months. Subgroup analyses of prospective studies and sensitivity analyses of primary outcomes excluding poor quality studies were performed.

Main results

Twelve studies compared 6541 women with UDP and/or PDPH versus 1,004,510 with uncomplicated neuraxial procedures. Eight studies compared EBP (n = 3610) with no EBP (n = 3154). UDP and/or PDPH were associated with increased risk of headache (RR 3.95; 95%CI 2.13 to 7.34; I2 42%), backache (RR 2.72; 95%CI 2.04 to 3.62; I2 1%), and neckache (RR 8.09; 95%CI 1.03 to 63.35) persisting ≥12 months, and depression (RR 3.12; 95%CI 1.44 to 6.77; I2 90%) lasting ≥1 month. Results were consistent in analyses at ≥1 and ≥ 6 months, subgroup analyses of prospective studies, and after exclusion of one poor-quality study from our primary outcome. EBP was not associated with significant reduction in the risk of long-term morbidities.


UDP and/or PDPH were associated with increased risk of chronic headache, backache, neckache, and depression. EBP was not associated with a significant reduction in those risks, but this conclusion is limited by the heterogeneity of current data and lack of information on the success of EBP in relieving acute PDPH symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mims, SC; Tan, HS; Sun, K; Pham, T; Rubright, S; Kaplan, SJ; Habib, AS

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 /

Start / End Page

  • 110787 -

PubMed ID

  • 35358942

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-4529

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0952-8180

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jclinane.2022.110787


  • eng