Performance and complications of lumbar puncture in memory clinics: Results of the multicenter lumbar puncture feasibility study

Flora H. Duits, Pablo Martinez-Lage, Claire Paquet, Sebastiaan Engelborghs, Alberto Lleo, Lucrezia Hausner, Jose L. Molinuevo, Erik Stomrud, Lucia Farotti, Inez H. G. B. Ramakers, Magda Tsolaki, Constance Skarsgard, Ragnar Astrand, Anders Wallin, Martin Vyhnalek, Marie Holmber-Clausen, Orestes V. Forlenza, Laura Ghezzi, Martin Ingelsson, Erik I. HoffGerwin Roks, Alexandre de Mendonca, Janne M. Papma, Andrea Izagirre, Mariko Taga, Hanne Struyfs, Daniel A. Alcolea, Lutz Froelich, Mircea Balasa, Lennart Minthon, Jos W. R. Twisk, Staffan Persson, Henrik Zetterberg, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Charlotte E. Teunissen, Philip Scheltens*, Kaj Blennow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Lumbar puncture (LP) is increasingly performed in memory clinics. We investigated patient-acceptance of LP, incidence of and risk factors for post-LP complications in memory clinic populations. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 3868 patients (50% women, age 66 +/- 11 years, mini mental state examination 25 +/- 5) at 23 memory clinics. We used logistic regression analysis using generalized estimated equations to investigate risk factors for post-LP complications, such as typical postlumbar puncture headache (PLPH) and back pain. Results: A total of 1065 patients (31%) reported post-LP complaints; 589 patients (17%) reported back pain, 649 (19%) headache, of which 296 (9%) reported typical PLPH. Only few patients needed medical intervention: 11 (0.3%) received a blood patch, 23 (0.7%) were hospitalized. The most important risk factor for PLPH was medical history of headache. An atraumatic needle and age >65 years were preventive. Gender, rest after LP, or volume of cerebrospinal fluid had no effect. Discussions: The overall risk of complications is relatively low. If risk factors shown in this study are taken into account, LPs can be safely performed in memory clinics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Lumbar puncture
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Memory clinic
  • Post-LP complications
  • Post-LP headache
  • Multicenter study on LP feasibility


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