A lumbar puncture (also called a spinal
tap) is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
lumbar puncture, a needle is carefully inserted into the spinal canal low in
the back (lumbar area). Samples of CSF are collected. The samples are studied
for color, blood cell counts, protein, glucose, and other substances. Some of
the sample may be put into a special culture cup to see if any infection, such
as bacteria or
fungi, grows. The pressure of the CSF also is measured
during the procedure.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
August 30, 2012
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