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Lumbar puncture: taking a sample of spinal fluid

Lumbar puncture: taking a sample of spinal fluid

M490/0017

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Credit

SIMON FRASER / ROYAL VICTORIA INFIRMARY, NEWCASTLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / ROYAL VICTORIA INFIRMARY, NEWCASTLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sampling of cerebrospinal fluid. The hands of a hospital doctor are seen holding a sample bottle to collect spinal fluid, after a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) has been performed. Clear cerebrospinal fluid can be seen emerging. The fluid is being withdrawn by means of a hollow needle inserted into the subarachnoid space in the region of the lower back, usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae. The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid is a diagnostic tool used to detect disease or a disorder which may be affecting the spinal cord or brain.

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