The very considerable discomfort following encephalography by the lumbar route has been a potent factor in limiting the application of this diagnostic procedure. One can look for the most help from encephalography in those cases in which a suspicion rather than a certainty of intracranial disorders exists, yet one is often loath in such cases to subject the patient to the protracted and severe headache which almost invariably follows the procedure. Thus any modification of technic that will serve to lessen the unpleasantness of encephalography will be effective in increasing its scope of usefulness.
General anesthesia, either parenterally or by inhaletion,1 is successful in overcoming the headache incidental to the injection of the air but can have no effect on the pain of the succeeding hours and days. It has the disadvantage of masking the signs of untoward sequelae, thus preventing the prompt institution of necessary therapeutic measures.
NEWMAN H. ENCEPHALOGRAPHY WITH ETHYLENE. JAMA. 1937;108(6):461-465. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780060027007