Diagnostic lumbar puncture: minimizing complications
Version of Record online: 16 APR 2008
© 2008 The Authors Journal compilation © 2008 Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Internal Medicine Journal
Volume 38, Issue 7, pages 587–591, July 2008
How to Cite
Williams, J., Lye, D. C. B. and Umapathi, T. (2008), Diagnostic lumbar puncture: minimizing complications. Internal Medicine Journal, 38: 587–591. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2008.01631.x
Potential conflicts of interest: None
- Issue online: 15 JUL 2008
- Version of Record online: 16 APR 2008
- Received 6 July 2007; accepted 10 December 2007.
- lumbar puncture;
Diagnostic lumbar puncture (LP) is essential to the diagnosis of central nervous system infections and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Life or limb-threatening adverse events due to the procedure are rare, but less severe complications may be common. Clinical practice in diagnostic LP is often not evidenced based. The aim of the study was to use best available published evidence to address questions on minimizing complications associated with diagnostic LP. We searched PubMed for studies in the English language using key words relevant to the complications of diagnostic LP. We emphasized randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews enrolling adult patients undergoing diagnostic LP. Uncontrolled studies and studies involving children or spinal anaesthesia were considered when no other evidence was available. There were nine prospective studies and three systematic reviews on reducing complications from LP. Recommendations on interventions to minimize complications of LP are graded based on the quality and strength of evidence.