Cerebrospinal fluid

When performed in the investigation of chronic neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or acute disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, lumbar puncture is reasonably safe. However, if a patient presenting with weakness is too drowsy to give a history, lumbar puncture is contraindicated prior to CT scanning to exclude raised intracranial pressure. Any suggestion of raised intracranial pressure means that a lumbar puncture is contraindicated. The absence of papilledema does not preclude raised intracranial pressure.

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