Lumbar puncture may be done to:

  • Collect cerebrospinal fluid for laboratory analysis
  • Measure the pressure of your cerebrospinal fluid
  • Inject spinal anesthetics, chemotherapy drugs or other medications
  • Inject dye (myelography) or radioactive substances (cisternography) into cerebrospinal fluid to make diagnostic images of the fluid's flow

Information gathered from a lumbar puncture can help diagnose:

  • Serious bacterial, fungal and viral infections, including meningitis, encephalitis and syphilis
  • Bleeding around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage)
  • Certain cancers involving the brain or spinal cord
  • Certain inflammatory conditions of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome
Dec. 06, 2014