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Postgrad Med J. 1986 April; 62(726): 277–279.
PMCID: PMC2418677

The use of lumbar puncture in a district general hospital.


A survey of lumbar punctures performed in adults in a district general hospital over a two year period was carried out. As well as being used for conventional, specific indications, lumbar puncture was often employed as a screening investigation in undiagnosed neurological illness. Although this was not inappropriate in patients with meningeal symptoms and signs, or patients with disordered consciousness, lumbar puncture was also used in patients with focal neurological signs. Although the dangers of lumbar puncture in these latter patients, and the fact that it is unlikely to yield information unobtainable by other investigations have been stated by many authorities, almost 20% of patients fell into this group. This suggests that these points require further emphasis.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Duffy GP. Lumbar puncture in the presence of raised intracranial pressure. Br Med J. 1969 Feb 15;1(5641):407–409. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Duffy GP. Lumbar puncture in spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982 Oct 23;285(6349):1163–1164. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Findlay GF. Computer-assisted (axial) tomography in the management of subarachnoid haemorrhage. Surg Neurol. 1980 Feb;13(2):125–128. [PubMed]
  • Marton KI, Vender MI. The lumbar puncture. Patterns of use in clinical practice. Med Decis Making. 1981;1(4):331–344. [PubMed]
  • Teddy PJ, Briggs M, Adams CB. Lumbar puncture in spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983 Jan 8;286(6359):143–143. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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