Definition of Lumbar Puncture (or Spinal Tap)
A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is a procedure performed to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. A needle is inserted into the lower back, and CSF is collected for further study.
Purpose of the Test
This test helps to identify many neurological disorders, diseases, infections and injuries:
- Brain bleeding
- Diagnose MS or Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Measure CSF pressure
- Inject a radioactive dye for further x-ray or nuclear tests