What is the most common complication of 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

Headache is the most common complication of lumbar puncture, observed in 20-70% of patients. [20, 21, 22, 23] It usually begins 24-48 hours after the procedure and is more common in young adults. The probable etiology is continued leakage of CSF from the puncture site. [24] The headache is usually fronto-occipital and improves in the supine position.


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