Ultrasound-assisted lumbar puncture in a neuromuscular clinic has a high success rate and less pain

Alon Abraham*, Ari Breiner, Hans D. Katzberg, Leif E. Lovblom, Vera Bril

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lumbar puncture (LP) performed with the assistance of ultrasound (US) may improve success rate, with fewer puncture attempts and less pain.Objectives: To explore the utility of US-assisted LP in a neuromuscular clinic.Methods: We performed a prospective, randomized, open-label study between May 2016 and January 2017. The primary outcome measure was LP success rate, and the secondary outcome measures included procedure time, number of attempts, and the levels of pain, anxiety, and satisfaction.Results: Lumbar puncture was performed in 40 consecutive patients. Ultrasound-assisted LP had a 100% success rate, compared with 85% (95% confidence interval: 58%-96%) without US assistance, although this difference failed to reach statistical significance. Ultrasound-assisted LP was associated with less pain and, also in patients >60 years of age, with fewer needle insertions. Both groups reported high satisfaction rates, regardless of the use of US.Conclusion: Ultrasound-assisted LP has a high success rate and less pain than unassisted LP, and can be accomplished easily in the outpatient neuromuscular clinic setting equipped with US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Anxiety
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Pain
  • Satisfaction
  • Success rate
  • Ultrasound


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