What is the role of lumbar puncture in the workup of lead toxicity?

Updated: Jan 16, 2020
  • Author: Pranay Kathuria, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Answer

A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be needed for evaluation of patients with altered mental status. However, it is contraindicated in patients with lead encephalopathy, because of the possible risk of herniation resulting from elevated intracranial pressure (ICP).


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