How to Do It: Bedside Ultrasound to Assist Lumbar Puncture

Pract Neurol. 2017 Jan;17(1):47-50. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2016-001463. Epub 2016 Nov 28.


For many neurologists, lumbar puncture is the only practical procedure that they undertake on a regular basis. Although anaesthetists and emergency physicians routinely employ ultrasound to assist lumbar puncture, neurologists do not. In this article, we outline the technique that we use for an ultrasound-assisted lumbar puncture, together with the evidence base that suggests that ultrasound has significant benefits. We aim to raise awareness of a method that can make lumbar puncture more likely to succeed and to be more comfortable for the patient.

Keywords: CSF; ULTRASOUND; lumbar puncture.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Point-of-Care Testing*
  • Spinal Puncture / instrumentation
  • Spinal Puncture / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*