10 doctors weighed in:

A lumbar puncture for a toddler sounds scary. Aren't there new technologies to diagnose meningitis using other methods?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Singer
Pediatrics - Neurology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Essential for diagno

lumbar puncture is essential as it provides access to the spinal fluid for culture and a variety of tests that enable doctors to make an appropriate diagnosis.
considering how many women have spinal anesthesia for delivery, you should not consider LP to be scary. It is generally a safe and quick procedure.

In brief: Essential for diagno

lumbar puncture is essential as it provides access to the spinal fluid for culture and a variety of tests that enable doctors to make an appropriate diagnosis.
considering how many women have spinal anesthesia for delivery, you should not consider LP to be scary. It is generally a safe and quick procedure.
Dr. William Singer
Dr. William Singer
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Dr. Reza Karimi
Neurosurgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: Gold standard

Although a lumbar puncture is an invasive test that most parents are reluctant to allow their pediatrician to perform, it remains the gold standard diagnostic test for meningitis and carries a very low rate of complications.

In brief: Gold standard

Although a lumbar puncture is an invasive test that most parents are reluctant to allow their pediatrician to perform, it remains the gold standard diagnostic test for meningitis and carries a very low rate of complications.
Dr. Reza Karimi
Dr. Reza Karimi
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Meningitis causes inflammatory markers to spread within the fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Blood tests reflect the whole body,not the meninges. Access points include the base of the skull where the brain enters the spine or the lower back.The lower back has the advantage of being beyond where the spinal cord ends & a space filled with spinal fluid. Scary, to some, necessary, yes.

In brief: No

Meningitis causes inflammatory markers to spread within the fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Blood tests reflect the whole body,not the meninges. Access points include the base of the skull where the brain enters the spine or the lower back.The lower back has the advantage of being beyond where the spinal cord ends & a space filled with spinal fluid. Scary, to some, necessary, yes.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. Mohammad Homsi
Neurology

In brief: Spinal tap

Spinal tap or LP is the best to diagnose meningitis in any age, it is the only way to obtain CSF in order to check the CSF protein, sugar, cell counts, gram stain and culture to differentiate among norma statusl, bacterial or viral infection of the meninges.
If the test is scary, it can be done with local anesthesia or even by given sedation to the child.

In brief: Spinal tap

Spinal tap or LP is the best to diagnose meningitis in any age, it is the only way to obtain CSF in order to check the CSF protein, sugar, cell counts, gram stain and culture to differentiate among norma statusl, bacterial or viral infection of the meninges.
If the test is scary, it can be done with local anesthesia or even by given sedation to the child.
Dr. Mohammad Homsi
Dr. Mohammad Homsi
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