Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collection

Spinal tap; Ventricular puncture; Lumbar puncture; Cisternal puncture; Cerebrospinal fluid culture

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection is a test to look at the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

CSF acts as a cushion, protecting the brain and spine from injury. The fluid is normally clear. It has the same consistency as water. The test is also used to measure pressure in the spinal fluid.

CSF chemistry

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury by acting like a liquid cushion. CSF is usually obtained through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). During the procedure, a needle is inserted usually between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae and the CSF fluid is collected for testing.

Lumbar vertebrae

There are 5 lumbar vertebrae located in the lower back. These vertebrae receive the most stress and are the weight-bearing portion of the back. The lumbar vertebrae allow movements such as flexion and extension and some lateral flexion.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks

Considerations