(Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis; Cerebrospinal Fluid Tap; Spinal Tap)
|Lumbar Puncture Method|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Brain infection, or infection of the layers around the brain
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Any disorder affecting the nervous system
- Certain types of cancer
- Bleeding in the brain or spinal cord
- Excess CSF in the brain
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Description of Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours.
- Rest and remain quiet for at least 24 hours.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Severe headache or headache lasting for more than 24 hours
- Nausea or vomiting
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the lumbar puncture site
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your lower back or legs
- Weakness in your lower legs or difficulty walking
- Problems with urination or defecation
- A stiff neck
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.aafp.org
United States National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Adams RD, Victor M, et al. Disturbances of cerebrospinal fluid and its circulation, including hydrocephalus and meningeal reactions. In: Adams RD, Victor M, Ropper AH. Pinciples of neurology. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill; 1997:623-641.
Lumbar puncture (LP). DynaMed website. Available at https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated May 31, 2012. Accessed August 31, 2012.
Lumbar puncture. Journal of American Medical Association website. Available at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=203803. Updated July 2008. Accessed August 31, 2012.
Lumbar puncture test. The University of Iowa website. Available at: http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/brainnervoussystem/lumbarpuncturetest.html. Published 2005. Accessed August 31, 2012.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 10/11/2012 -