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Related to spinal puncture: lumbar puncture
spinal puncture,surgical penetration of the spinal canal by a hollow needle introduced between two of the lumbar vertebrae. The arrangement permits injection of antibiotics or anesthetics (see anesthesiaanesthesia
[Gr.,=insensibility], loss of sensation, especially that of pain, induced by drugs, especially as a means of facilitating safe surgical procedures. Early modern medical anesthesia dates to experiments with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) by Sir Humphry Davy of England
..... Click the link for more information. ) as well as dyes to facilitate X-ray studies. It also allows withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the plasmalike liquid cushioning the brain and spinal cord, in which case the procedure is known as a spinal tap. Examination of the CSF is useful in diagnosing disease of the central nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information. . The fluid is first tested for pressure; a high reading may signal inflammation or tumor. If pressure is normal, a small sample can be taken. It is then analyzed for antibodies, white blood cells, cellular debris, bacteria, and other organisms. Unusual concentrations may indicate disorders such as spinal meningitis, polio, or cancer. The concentrations of protein, sugar, and other chemical components are also determined. Excessive protein may be a sign of spinal tuberculosis.