Journal of Neurology

, Volume 259, Issue 8, pp 1530–1545

Cerebrospinal fluid and lumbar puncture: a practical review

Authors

  • Ben L. C. Wright
    • Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust
  • James T. F. Lai
    • Neurobiology and Neuropharmacology, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of Birmingham
    • Neurobiology and Neuropharmacology, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of Birmingham
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00415-012-6413-x

Cite this article as:
Wright, B.L.C., Lai, J.T.F. & Sinclair, A.J. J Neurol (2012) 259: 1530. doi:10.1007/s00415-012-6413-x

Abstract

Cerebrospinal fluid is vital for normal brain function. Changes to the composition, flow, or pressure can cause a variety of neurological symptoms and signs. Equally, disorders of nervous tissue may alter cerebrospinal fluid characteristics. Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid can provide information on diagnosis, may be therapeutic in certain conditions, and allows a research opportunity into neurological disease. However, inappropriate sampling, inaccurate technique, and incomplete analysis can contribute to significant patient morbidity, and reduce the amount of accurate information obtained. In this article, we will review how cerebrospinal fluid is produced, circulated, and resorbed. We will also review lumbar puncture technique, equipment, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. We also discuss how to minimize the risks and address the complications associated with lumbar puncture.

Keywords

Cerebrospinal fluidAnalysisLumbar punctureTechniqueComplications

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012