Postdural puncture headache in migraineurs and nonheadache subjects: A prospective study

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To prospectively assess 1) the incidence and duration of postdural puncture headache (PDPH) in migraineurs and healthy subjects; 2) the associated risk factors; and 3) the risk of getting a migraine attack shortly before or after lumbar puncture (LP).


As part of an extensive biochemical migraine research program, we assessed the occurrence, duration, and characteristics of PDPH in 160 migraineurs and 53 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. In addition, we evaluated potential risk factors for PDPH as well as the risk of developing a migraine attack before or after LP.


In total, 64 of 199 subjects (32.2%) developed PDPH. Young age, low body mass index, severe headache immediately after LP, and sitting sampling position, but not being a migraineur, increased the risk of PDPH (all p < 0.05). Duration of PDPH was prolonged by history of depression, sitting sampling position, high perceived stress during the LP procedure, and multiple LP efforts (all p < 0.05). Migraine attacks were less likely to occur before or shortly after LP.


Migraineurs are not at increased risk of developing PDPH. PDPH duration is similar in migraineurs and age- and sex-matched controls. LP does not trigger migraine attacks, and the stress of an upcoming LP might even have a protective effect against onset of migraine attacks.

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