Optimal needle gauge for cerebrospinal fluid collection


  • 22G atraumatic needles were associated with reduced incidence of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH), but an increase in collection time, compared to 20G traumatic and atraumatic needles. The prolonged collection time had no measurable impact on patient discomfort.

Why this matters

  • PDPH can occur following lumbar puncture and is caused by leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through the dural puncture. PDPH occurs frequently and can be highly debilitating.

  • It is understood that a smaller needle gauge and atraumatic needle tip can lead to decreased risk of PDHP, however increases collection time and potentially patient discomfort.