Collecting Cerebrospinal Fluid

  • Roger A. Brumback


Sampling of the cerebrospinal fluid is an extremely important procedure, since it is essentially the only neurodiagnostic technique that permits physicians to evaluate the biochemical and metabolic aspects of central nervous system functioning. However, it is imperative that the sample be properly collected and processed in order for the maximum information to be obtained. Before attempting to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, the physician should be aware of what information is desired from the study and how much cerebrospinal fluid is required for each laboratory test to be performed in order to collect and process the specimens properly. This chapter deals with the proper techniques used to sample cerebrospinal fluid and the techniques for subsequently handling the collected fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid may be collected by lumbar puncture, cisternal puncture, or lateral cervical puncture, or through ventricular cannulas (or shunts).


Cerebrospinal Fluid Lumbar Puncture Subarachnoid Space Tuberculous Meningitis Spinal Needle 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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  • Roger A. Brumback

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