Atraumatic Lumbar Puncture Needles: After All These Years, Are We Still Missing the Point? : The Neurologist

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Review Article

Atraumatic Lumbar Puncture Needles

After All These Years, Are We Still Missing the Point?

Arendt, Katherine MD*; Demaerschalk, Bart M. MD, MSc, FRCP(C); Wingerchuk, Dean M. MD, MSc, FRCP(C); Camann, William MD§

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The Neurologist 15(1):p 17-20, January 2009. | DOI: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e318184f476



Cutting needles remain the most commonly used needle design for lumbar puncture in the neurology community, although atraumatic (noncutting) needles have become common and popular for anesthesiologists performing spinal anesthesia.

Review Summary: 

The use of atraumatic spinal needles for lumbar puncture has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of postdural puncture headache compared with cutting needles, without loss of efficacy or ease of use.


The use of noncutting or pencil-point spinal needles should become the standard for performing diagnostic lumbar puncture.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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