Spinal Tap Introduction
- A spinal tap is a procedure performed when a doctor or health care professional
needs to evaluate the cerebrospinal fluid (also known as spinal fluid
or CSF). Spinal tap is also referred to as a lumbar puncture,
- Some of the reasons your doctor may want to do a spinal tap include the following:
- To look for infection (bacteria can be found in the spinal fluid)
- To check to see if there is bleeding around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage; small amounts of blood will be found in the fluid)
- To look for causes of unexplained seizures
- To look for causes of headaches
- To evaluate for uncommon diagnoses such as multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease,
syndrome, and several others.
- To administer certain types of chemotherapeutics medications in the treatment of some cancers
- Cerebrospinal fluid is a liquid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. An adult has about 140 mL (just under 5 oz) of spinal fluid. Typically, an adult makes 30-100 mL of spinal fluid daily.
- A spinal tap can be performed in any person and at any age.
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