A lumbar puncture is a procedure in which a needle is inserted into
the spinal canal to measure the pressure and obtain a sample of cerebrospinal
fluid (CSF), the colorless fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The
procedure may also be used to inject anesthetics, medicine, or a contrast dye
(for spinal X-rays) into the spinal fluid or to drain fluids that accumulate as
a result of certain medical conditions.
Fluid samples obtained from a lumbar puncture can be analyzed for
signs of infection (such as meningitis), inflammation, cancer, or bleeding in
the area around the brain or spinal cord.
A lumbar puncture is also sometimes called a spinal tap.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.