The first lumbar puncture

J Hist Neurosci. 1997 Aug;6(2):147-53. doi: 10.1080/09647049709525699.


In this article it is argued that Heinrich Irenäus Quincke who should be credited with the discovery of lumbar puncture. Although some authors mention the names of James Leonard Corning and Walter Essex Wynter as well, it is demonstrated, by comparing the relevant publications, that the discovery, the application for diagnostic purposes and the introduction in clinical practice of the lumbar puncture were done by Quincke. At first, the purposes for performing a lumbar puncture were purely therapeutic, for instance CSF-drainage in hydrocephalus and meningitis. But, soon after, it was applied for diagnostic aims as well.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Germany
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / history*
  • Neurology / history*
  • Spinal Puncture / history*

Personal name as subject

  • H I Quincke