What is the role of lumbar puncture in the workup of neonatal sepsis?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Nathan S Gollehon, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

Lumbar puncture may be warranted in the workup of early- and late-onset sepsis, although clinicians may be unsuccessful in obtaining sufficient or clear cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for all the studies. If positive culture results are obtained, a follow-up lumbar puncture is often performed within 24-36 hours after the initiation of antibiotic therapy to document CSF sterility. If organisms are still present, modification of the drug type or dosage may be required for adequate treatment of the meningitis. An additional lumbar puncture within 24-36 hours of the change in therapy is necessary if organisms remain present.


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