Safety and acceptability of the research lumbar puncture

Elaine R. Peskind, Robert Riekse, Joseph F. Quinn, Jeffrey Kaye, Christopher M. Clark, Martin R. Farlow, Charles Decarli, Charles Chabal, Darcy Vavrek, Murray A. Raskind, Douglas Galasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Three hundred forty-two subjects underwent 428 research lumbar punctures for studies of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers. Subjects were 67 Alzheimer disease or mild cognitive impairment (AD/MCI) patients and 275 cognitively normal adults aged 21 to 88. Lumbar puncture was performed in the lateral decubitus or sitting position using the Sprotte 24g atraumatic spinal needle. Up to 34 ml of cerebrospinal fluid were collected. Anxiety and pain experienced during lumbar puncture were rated on a visual analog scale. The frequency of any adverse event (11.7%), clinically significant adverse events (3.97%), and typical post-lumbar puncture headache (PLPHA) (0.93%) was low. Risk of post-lumbar puncture headache was unrelated to age, gender, position during lumbar puncture, ml of cerebrospinal fluid collected, or minutes of recumbent rest following lumbar puncture. The frequency of post-lumbar puncture headache was lower in AD/MCI (P = 0.03) than any other subject group. Anxiety and pain ratings were low. Younger subjects reported more anxiety than old (P = 0.001) and AD/MCI subjects (P = 0.008) and more pain than older normal subjects (P = 0.013). Pain ratings for women were higher than those for men (P = 0.006). Using the Sprotte 24g spinal needle, research lumbar puncture can be performed with a very low rate of clinically significant adverse events and with good acceptability in cognitively impaired persons and cognitively normal adults of all ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Post lumbar-puncture headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Safety and acceptability of the research lumbar puncture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this