What is the role of lumbar puncture in the management of children with sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Consider lumbar puncture to exclude meningitis if there is altered mental status, meningeal signs, or fever. When focal neurologic signs are present or intracranial hemorrhage is suspected, consider CT prior to lumbar puncture. Consider lumbar puncture if a subarachnoid hemorrhage is suspected and head CT is unrevealing.

Meningitis in children with SCD requires early recognition; aggressive diagnostic evaluation including CBC count, urinalysis, chest radiographs, and blood cultures; prompt administration of intravenous antibiotics active against S pneumoniae; and close observation.

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