Lumbar puncture opening pressure is not a reliable measure of intracranial pressure in children

J Child Neurol. 2015 Feb;30(2):170-3. doi: 10.1177/0883073814533006. Epub 2014 May 5.


There is very little data correlating lumbar puncture pressures to formal intracranial pressure monitoring despite the widespread use of both procedures. The hypothesis was that lumbar puncture is a single-point measurement and hence it may not be a reliable evaluation of intracranial pressure. The study was therefore carried out to compare lumbar puncture opening pressures with the Camino bolt intracranial pressure monitor in children. Twelve children with a mean age of 8.5 years who had both lumbar puncture and intracranial pressure monitoring were analyzed. The mean lumbar puncture opening pressure was 22.4 mm Hg versus a mean Camino bolt intracranial pressure of 7.8 mm Hg (P < .0001). Lumbar puncture therefore significantly overestimates the intracranial pressure in children. There were no complications from the intracranial pressure monitoring, and the procedure changed the treatment of all 12 children avoiding invasive operative procedures in most of the patients.

Keywords: Camino® bolt; intracranial pressure; lumbar puncture.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Spinal Puncture / methods*
  • Young Adult