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Lumbar puncture 

Lumbar puncture
Chapter:
Lumbar puncture
Author(s):

R. Rhys Davies

, and Andrew J. Larner

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0569
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date: 07 March 2021

Lumbar puncture for examination of the cerebrospinal fluid has been an integral part of neurological practice since the pioneering work of Quincke at the end of the 19th century. The proximity of nervous tissue and cerebrospinal fluid may afford insights into pathological processes within the nervous system through examination of the cerebrospinal fluid, which may not easily be accessed by other investigational modalities. Because of this importance, guidelines on routine cerebrospinal fluid analysis have been published. The related procedure of cervical or cisternal puncture may also be used to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, but is far less frequently performed. Cerebrospinal fluid samples should always be regarded as precious, and hence every effort made to ensure correct analysis and interpretation; suboptimal performance is not infrequently encountered in day-to-day clinical practice.

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