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Article
May 5, 1934

ASEPTIC MENINGITIS FOLLOWING DIAGNOSTIC LUMBAR PUNCTURE: INDICATIONS FOR LUMBAR PUNCTURE AND COMPLICATIONS SECONDARY TO IT

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA
From the Philadelphia General Hospital and from the Neurological Department of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1934;102(18):1460-1462. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750180012004
Abstract

The examination of the spinal fluid has become almost as routine a procedure in the diagnosis of neuropsychiatric problems as that of the blood in internal medicine. When the great amount of valuable information made available to the diagnostician is considered, an occasional unfortunate sequel may be forgiven, especially if an effort is made to prevent its recurrence. The most common disabling event, the result of a lumbar puncture, is the headache, neck ache and vertigo that frequently ensue, particularly if a large needle is used and the patient is permitted to go about his business in a few hours. Temporary meningitic signs are sometimes observed, probably resulting from an outpouring of the cells into the subarachnoid space. It is known that a second lumbar puncture performed some hours after a diagnostic tap will show an increase of lymphocytes and albumin in the spinal fluid. Furthermore, if the tap has

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