It is a good plan to take stock occasionally of procedures which have gained a permanent foothold in the medical armamentarium, partly because the new members constantly added to our ranks may not know the history of them, and partly because familiarity with a procedure tends to make us forget its dangers and drawbacks, which, however, are apt to be overestimated rather than underrated in the beginning. It is now eighteen years since lumbar puncture was introduced by Quincke, and in that time it has gradually progressed from the status of a procedure of occasional value to that of one in daily use.
The originator of lumbar puncture probably did not foresee the different lines along which its application would develop. He may have believed that ordinary chemical and microscopic examination of the fluid withdrawn would mark the limits of its usefulness. Cytodiagnosis in the modern sense, which has added
THE DIAGNOSTIC AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF LUMBAR PUNCTURE. JAMA. 1909;LII(11):894. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540370052008
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