Objectives: Postdural puncture headache
is a challenging complication of diagnostic, therapeutic, and unintentional lumbar puncture. Literature evidence supports cosyntropin
as a viable noninvasive therapy for adults who have failed conservative management, but pediatric data are limited. The purpose of this retrospective chart review was to describe the use of intravenous cosyntropin
for refractory pediatric postdural puncture headache
at a single free-standing tertiary care pediatric hospital.
Patients who had received cosyntropin
were identified. Charts were retrospectively reviewed for indication, dosing information, efficacy, and side effects. The response was defined as a 50% reduction in pain score, with a secondary efficacy measure of time to discharge after the first dose.
Over a 5-year period, 26 patients received 37 doses of cosyntropin
. Dosing ranged from 5 to 15 mcg/kg (median, 10.4 mcg/kg). There was a significant reduction in pain scores after the first dose of cosyntropin
=0.008). Eighty-one percent of patients (n=21) achieved either a 50% reduction in pain or were discharged within 24 hours after the first dose. The median time to 50% pain reduction in 13 patients who achieved it before or discharge was 5 hours (range, 1 to 30 h). The median time to discharge after the first dose was 20 hours (range, 2 to 72 h). Ten patients received >1 dose of cosyntropin
. Three patients required an epidural blood patch. No adverse effects related to treatment were identified.
This study suggests that while further research is warranted, cosyntropin
is a potential alternative to epidural blood patch for pediatric patients with postdural puncture headache
who fail conservative management.