A dedicated lumbar puncture clinic: performance and short-term patient outcomes

Paula Barreras, David R. Benavides, Jorge F. Barreras, Carlos A. Pardo, Ami Jani, Roland Faigle, Mona N. Bahouth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to evaluate patient outcomes, including success rates, factors associated with unsuccessful procedures and frequency of post-lumbar puncture headaches (PLPH), at a dedicated academic outpatient lumbar puncture (LP) clinic. All patients referred to our LP clinic between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015 were included in this consecutive observational series. We collected information about patient characteristics, operational parameters of the procedure, and complications. We also recorded rates of participation in biomedical research involving use of cerebrospinal fluid. Univariate analysis used Student’s t test and Fisher’s exact test. Logistic regression was used to determine independent risk factors associated with unsuccessful LP and PLPH. The mean age of patients referred to our LP clinic was 46 ± 17 years. Of the 307 referrals, 281 patients (92%) started the procedure, with successful acquisition of CSF in 267 (95%). Factors contributing to unsuccessful procedures included higher body mass index [odds ratio (OR) 1.8], older age (OR 1.9), and female sex (OR 10.3). The rate of PLPH was 5.7%. Younger age (OR 0.5), female sex (OR 6.9), high mean arterial pressure (OR 2.2), and a traumatic LP (OR 10.0) were identified as risk factors for PLPH. Notably, 202 patients (72%) consented to biomedical research. A standardized approach to outpatient LP demonstrates high procedural success rate, low PLPH rate, and high participation in biomedical research. Awareness of a group of patients at higher risk for complications including procedure failure or PLPH provides guidance for decision-making regarding referral to the outpatient LP clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2075-2080
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Biorepository
  • CSF sampling
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Lumbar puncture clinic
  • Post-lumbar puncture headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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