When is a brain CT scan indicated prior to performing a lumbar puncture (LP)?

Updated: Aug 02, 2018
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Indications for performing brain CT scanning before lumbar puncture in patients with suspected meningitis include the following [8] :

  • Patients who are older than 60 years

  • Patients who are immunocompromised

  • Patients with known CNS lesions

  • Patients who have had a seizure within 1 week of presentation

  • Patients with an abnormal level of consciousness

  • Patients with focal findings on neurologic examination

  • Patients with papilledema seen on physical examination, with clinical suspicion of an elevated ICP


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