Since its description in the late 1800s (1, 2), the spinal tap, or lumbar puncture, has become a mainstay of neurologic diagnosis. As with other body fluids, examination of the cerebrospinal fluid has a number of applications. Because only a few applications yield a precise diagnosis, the lumbar puncture is most useful when cerebrospinal fluid patterns are related to clinical findings.
The basic techniques for doing the lumbar puncture have been well described (3, 4) and include several important components. Patient reassurance and proper positioning are important. The most commonly used cerebrospinal fluid tests include cell count (both total
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
The Diagnostic Spinal Tap. Ann Intern Med. 1986;104:880–885. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-104-6-880
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(6):880-885.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only