Lumbar puncture

10 November 2010
Lumbar puncture is a procedure whereby a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine to take a sample of fluid. The fluid is known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and it can be tested to look for evidence of cancer cells, infection, and raised pressure in the central nervous system. It can also be used to inject chemotherapy into the cerebrospinal fluid, called intra-thecal treatment. This can be done under general anaesthetic in very young children, as they need to lie very still. Teenagers may be able to tolerate the procedure using local anaesthetic to numb the skin."

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