Lumbar punctures are safe in patients with ALS and have a risk profile similar to that in the non-ALS population

Link to article at PubMed

Muscle Nerve. 2023 Aug 11. doi: 10.1002/mus.27956. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION/AIMS: Analysis of biofluids, especially cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), is critically important for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. Collection of CSF is typically performed by lumbar puncture (LP). Previous studies have demonstrated the safety of LPs in patients with other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, although there are no published studies of the safety of LPs in patients with ALS. We performed a retrospective analysis of complications resulting from LPs.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study of LPs performed between 2015 and 2021 on a total of 233 participants (healthy controls [n = 63], ALS [n = 154], and disease controls [n = 16]) as part of clinical research studies at the Washington University ALS Center. We used bivariate logistical analyses looking for associations between participant characteristics and adverse events (AEs), and likelihood ratio tests were used for significance testing.

RESULTS: We found an overall AE rate of 21.03%. AEs included headache, back pain, vasovagal syncope, and severe headache requiring epidural blood patch. Participants with ALS were not more likely to experience post-LP AEs compared to controls (odds ratio [OR] 0.61 [0.32-1.18]). Post-LP headaches were significantly less likely in participants with ALS (OR 0.36 [0.15-0.83]).

DISCUSSION: Our findings demonstrate that LP is a safe procedure for participants with ALS, with a similar or lower rate of AEs than in participants without ALS.

PMID:37566385 | DOI:10.1002/mus.27956

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