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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Malhotra S. K. 1, Iyer B. A. 1, Gupta A. K. 2, Raghunathan M. 2, Nakra D. 1
1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India;
2 Department of Otolaryngology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Aim. Spinal anaesthesia may produce complications ranging from minor problems such as pain on injection, backache and urinary retention to more serious consequences such as post-dural puncture headache (PDPH), neurological complications like meningitis, cranial and peripheral nerve palsies and even cardiac arrest. Impaired auditory function is a relatively lesser-recognized complication of spinal analgesia. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of spinal analgesia on vestibular dysfunction, using different sizes of the same type of spinal needle.
Methods. The study included 30 ASA I patients who had received spinal analgesia for lower abdominal surgery. Pure tone audiometry was performed before surgery and on postoperative day 2. In addition, any patient with hearing impairment of >15 dB was scheduled to undergo electrocochleography. Hearing levels were measured from 250 Hz to 8 kHz. In group 1 (n=15), a 26–gauge Quincke needle was used. In group 2 (n=15), a 23-gauge Quincke needle was used.
Results. Comparison of hearing thresholds showed a significant reduction in the hearing level (P<0.05) in 2 patients in group 2 but none in group 1.
Conclusion. The use of a 23-gauge Quincke needle is associated with a greater reduction in the mean hearing level compared to a 26-gauge needle of the same type.