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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Prospective evaluation of point-of-care ultrasound for pre-procedure identification of landmarks versus traditional palpation for lumbar puncture.

  • Author(s): Lahham, Shadi
  • Schmalbach, Priel
  • Wilson, Sean P
  • Ludeman, Lori
  • Subeh, Mohammad
  • Chao, Jocelyn
  • Albadawi, Nadeem
  • Mohammadi, Niki
  • Fox, John C
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:The objective of this study is to determine if point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) pre-procedure identification of landmarks can decrease failure rate, reduce procedural time, and decrease the number of needle redirections and reinsertions when performing a lumbar puncture (LP). METHODS:This was a prospective, randomized controlled trial comparing POCUS pre-procedure identification of landmarks versus traditional palpation for LP in a cohort of patients in the emergency department and intensive care unit. RESULTS:A total of 158 patients were enrolled. No significant difference was found in time to completion, needle re-direction, or needle re-insertion when using POCUS when compared to the traditional method of palpation. CONCLUSION:Consistent with findings of previous studies, our data indicate that there was no observed benefit of using POCUS to identify pre-procedure landmarks when performing an LP.

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