Comparison of 26-gauge Atraucan® and 25-gauge Whitacre needles: insertion characteristics and complications

S. K. Sharma, D. R. Gambling, G. P. Joshi, J. E. Sidawi, E. R. Herrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Ninety-six women undergoing post-partum tubal ligation under spinal anaesthesia were studied to compare 26G Atraucan® with 25G Whitacre spinal needles for ease of insertion, number of attempts at needle insertion, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow characteristics through the needles, quality of subsequent analgesia, and incidence of perioperative complications. A higher rale of successful durai puncture at the first attempt (40/50 vs 27/46, P < 0.05) and faster (mean ± SD, 11.5 ± 2.2 vs 13.5 ± 2.4, P < 0.001) CSF flow through the needle was achieved with the Atraucan® than with the Whitacre needle. The incidence of failed spinal (4% vs 5%) and post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) (4% vs 4.3%) was similar with both needles, but more patients experienced paraesthesiae during needle insertion with the Whitacre than with the Atraucan® needle (15% vs 2%, P < 0.05). We conclude that the use of the 26G Atraucan® needle is associated with a higher rate of successful identification of the subarachnoid space at the first attempt, faster CSF backflow, and fewer paraesthesia when compared with the 25G Whitacre needle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-710
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • anaesthetic technique: spinal
  • complications: headache, paraesthesia
  • equipment: spinal needles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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