How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
Before your lumbar puncture, your doctor asks questions about your medical history, does a physical exam, and orders blood tests to check if you have any bleeding or clotting disorders. Your doctor may also recommend a CT scan to determine if you have any abnormal swelling in or around your brain.
Tell your doctor if you're taking blood-thinning or other anticoagulant medications. Examples include warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), clopidogrel (Plavix), and some over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve). Also, tell your doctor if you're allergic to any medications, such as numbing medications (local anesthetics).
- Lumbar puncture. Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=SpinalTap. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- CSF Analysis. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/csf/csf-exams. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Myelography. Radiology Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=myelography. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Lumbar puncture (Taking a sample of fluid from around the spinal cord). American Thoracic Society. http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/critical-care/patient-information/icu-devices-and-procedures/lumbar-puncture-taking-a-sample-of-fluid-from-around-the-spinal-cord.php. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Lavi R, et al. Lumbar puncture: It's time to change the needle. European Neurology. 2010;64:108.
- Alvero R, et al. Inpatient medicine. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00119-1--s1055&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&sid=1244006461&uniqId=307334494-8#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00119-1--s1060. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Dec. 10, 2011.
- Central nervous system infections. In: Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00107-9--s0125&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&sid=1243990324&uniqId=307334494-5#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00107-9--s0145. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Swanson JW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 14, 2011.