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How to do it: bedside ultrasound to assist lumbar puncture
  1. Stefan Williams1,
  2. Modar Khalil2,
  3. Asoka Weerasinghe3,
  4. Anu Sharma4,
  5. Richard Davey5
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, UK
  3. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust, Dewsbury, UK
  4. 4Department of Anaesthesia, Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust, Dewsbury, UK
  5. 5Department of Neurology, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stefan Williams, Department of Neurology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; stefanwilliams{at}


For many neurologists, lumbar puncture is the only practical procedure that they undertake on a regular basis. Although anaesthetists and emergency physicians routinely employ ultrasound to assist lumbar puncture, neurologists do not. In this article, we outline the technique that we use for an ultrasound-assisted lumbar puncture, together with the evidence base that suggests that ultrasound has significant benefits. We aim to raise awareness of a method that can make lumbar puncture more likely to succeed and to be more comfortable for the patient.

  • CSF
  • lumbar puncture

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  • Twitter Follow Modar Khalil at @modarkh and Stefan Williams at @dr_stefanw

  • Acknowledgement Paul Brown contributed to medical illustration work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed. Reviewed by Gavin Giovannoni, London, UK.

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