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September 1984

Fatal Intracranial Extension of Spinal Hemorrhage After Lumbar Puncture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. Dr Walsh is now with the Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas; Dr Fischer is now with the Skemp-Grandview Clinic, La Crosse, Wis.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(9):987-989. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050200093025

• Lumbar puncture (LP) is sometimes performed in addition to computed tomography (CT) to exclude hemorrhage prior to anticoagulation for suspected cerebral ischemia. The LP may be complicated by spinal hemorrhage during subsequent anticoagulation. We report such a case with an eventually fatal outcome due to intracranial extension of blood. On balance, the use of LP in addition to CT in this setting appears to be unwise.

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