Lumbar Puncture in the Neonate: Challenges in Decision Making and Interpretation

Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.
Seminars in perinatology (Impact Factor: 2.68). 12/2012; 36(6):445-53. DOI: 10.1053/j.semperi.2012.06.007
Source: PubMed


Multiple studies have provided normative ranges for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) parameters in term and preterm infants and described changes with advancing postnatal age, as well as in special circumstances, such as traumatic lumbar puncture (LP), previous antibiotic administration, seizures, and concomitant infections at other sites. Although guidelines exist for the interpretation of CSF parameters in neonates, there appears to be no single combination of parameters that conclusively excludes meningitis. It remains important for clinicians to perform LPs early in the course of illness, ideally before the administration of antibiotic therapy. This review presents currently available literature on the indications for LP as well as guidelines for the interpretation of CSF parameters in neonates.

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