Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

Lower Back | General Practice | Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) (Disease)


A lumbar puncture (or LP, and colloquially known as a spinal tap) is a diagnostic and at times therapeutic procedure that is performed in order to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological, and cytological analysis, or very rarely as a treatment (therapeutic lumbar puncture) to relieve increased intracranial pressure.

It is the act of introducing a needle into the spinal lumbar bag bottom (lower spine), then sampling and / or removal of cerebrospinal fluid and / or injecting a drug or a contrast product. The physician should ensure that there are no contraindications for lumbar puncture (LP) and especially the patient is not affected by intracranial hypertension, diagnosed by examination of the fundus. In the absence of contraindications, lumbar puncture is not dangerous. It allows, if necessary, various successive operations: collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and then placing a product before making a contrast sacco-radiculography. In most cases, a lumbar puncture is very painful.

It is often performed under anesthesia during a hospitalization for the meningeal syndrome or a degenerative central nervous system, for example. The patient should remain stretched for 24 hours after surgery in order to avoid headaches. ...

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