What is the role of lumbar puncture in the workup of third cranial nerve palsy (oculomotor cranial nerve palsy)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: James Goodwin, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew G Lee, MD  more...
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Answer

The main purpose of lumbar puncture is to demonstrate the presence of blood in cerebrospinal fluid, an inflammatory reaction, neoplastic infiltration, or infection.

Bloody spinal fluid with oculomotor nerve palsy usually results from rupture of a posterior communicating artery berry aneurysm.

Meningeal inflammatory reaction may be idiopathic or may result from a specific infection that should be diagnosed by bacterial and fungal cultures and by fungus, protozoan, or virus-specific serology or specific antigen (polymerase chain reaction).


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