Comparison of Ultrasound-Guided and Landmark-Based Lumbar Punctures in Inexperienced Resident Physicians.
J Ultrasound Med. 2019 Mar;38(3):613-620
Authors: Evans DP, Tozer J, Joyce M, Vitto MJ
OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine whether US-guided lumbar puncture reduced the rate of lumbar puncture failures for providers at an academic teaching hospital with variable lumbar puncture and US experience compared to the traditional landmark-based technique.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial to compare US-guided lumbar puncture to the traditional landmark technique in an academic emergency department. Thirty-five patients were randomized to either have their lumbar puncture performed either via the landmark or US-guided technique. All procedures were completed by an emergency medicine resident with variable lumbar puncture and US experience. Procedural failures, the number of attempts, the time to completion, and patient pain scores were all recorded.
RESULTS: The adjusted odds ratio of successfully obtaining cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the US-guided lumbar puncture group was 2.31 compared to the landmark-based lumbar puncture group (P = .377). It took 1.54 times more attempts to obtain CSF in the landmark group as it did in the US group (P = .046). It seemed to have no effect on postprocedural pain or the time to obtain CSF.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of US guidance to assist in lumbar punctures did not improve the procedural success rate over traditional landmark techniques in an academic setting with novice providers. Although using US for procedural guidance significantly decreased the number of attempts, it seemed to have no effect on postprocedural pain or the time to obtain CSF.
PMID: 30099756 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]