Español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


lumbar puncture  listen  (LUM-bar PUNK-cher)

  A procedure in which a thin needle called a spinal needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give drugs. Also called spinal tap.

Enlarge
Lumbar puncture; drawing shows a patient lying in a curled position on a table and a spinal needle (a long, thin needle) being inserted into the lower back. Inset shows a close-up of the spinal needle inserted into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the lower part of the spinal column.