Why It Is Done
A Reference lumbar puncture Opens New Window is done to:
- Find a cause for symptoms possibly caused by an infection (such as Reference meningitis Opens New Window), inflammation, cancer, or bleeding in the area around the brain or spinal cord (such as Reference subarachnoid hemorrhage Opens New Window).
- Diagnose certain diseases of the brain and spinal cord, such as Reference multiple sclerosis Opens New Window or Reference Guillain-Barré syndrome Opens New Window.
- Measure the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the space surrounding the spinal cord. If the pressure is high, it may be causing certain symptoms.
A lumbar puncture may also be done to:
- Put Reference anesthetics Opens New Window or medicines into the CSF. Medicines may be injected to treat Reference leukemia Opens New Window and other types of cancer of the central nervous system.
- Put a dye in the CSF that makes the spinal cord and fluid clearer on X-ray pictures (Reference myelogram Opens New Window). This may be done to see whether a disc or a cancer is bulging into the spinal canal.
In rare cases, a lumbar puncture may be used to lower the pressure in the brain caused by too much CSF.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology