A lumbar puncture is a test of the fluid around your spine and brain. This fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It provides protection and nutrition to the brain and nerve cells. CSF also helps to remove waste products from the brain.

Lumbar Puncture Method
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The test is done to look for abnormalities in the spinal fluid. It may be done to help diagnose conditions such as:

  • Brain infection, or infection of the layers around the brain
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Any disorder affecting the nervous system
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Bleeding in the brain or spinal cord
  • Excess CSF in the brain

The procedure may also be done to:

  • Administer dye for imaging studies
  • Drain CSF to lower pressure within the brain
  • Give medication directly to the spine such as chemotherapy, antibiotics, andanesthesia