How is measurement of the opening pressure taken during 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

For measurement of the opening pressure, the patient must be in the lateral recumbent position. After fluid is returned from the needle, attach the manometer through the stopcock, and note the height of the fluid column. The patient’s legs should be straightened during the measurement of the open pressure, or a falsely elevated pressure will be obtained (see the video below).

Opening pressure measurement. Video courtesy of Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD.

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