Lumbar puncture-induced meningitis

JAMA. 1981 Apr 10;245(14):1456-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.245.14.1456.


A retrospective study was done to evaluate the risk of lumbar puncture-induced meningitis. Fourteen percent (23/165) of patients with bacteremia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitis, and groups A and B streptococci had spontaneous meningitis (without a preceding lumbar puncture). In contrast, only 0.8% (7/924) of patients with blood culture containing other organisms had spontaneous meningitis and 2.1% (3/140) of these patients had clinical courses consistent with lumbar puncture-induced meningitis. However, the 2.1% incidence in the latter group is not significantly different from 0.8%, the expected incidence of spontaneous meningitis. It is suggested that if lumbar puncture-induced meningitis does occur, it is rare enough to be clinically insignificant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / blood
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Spinal Puncture / adverse effects*
  • Subarachnoid Space / microbiology