US determined best LP position

Here ultrasound was used to ascertain the best position for doing a lumbar puncture in kids, where the interspinous space was maximised:
BACKGROUND Lumbar punctures are commonly performed in the pediatric emergency department. There is no standard, recommended, optimal position for children who are undergoing the procedure.
OBJECTIVE To determine a position for lumbar punctures where the interspinous space is maximized, as measured by bedside ultrasound.
METHODS A prospective convenience sample of children under age 12 was performed. Using a portable ultrasound device, the L3-L4 or L4-L5 interspinous space was measured with the subject in 5 different positions. The primary outcome was the interspinous distance between 2 adjacent vertebrae. The interspinous space was measured with the subject sitting with and without hip flexion. In the lateral recumbent position, the interspinous space wasmeasured with the hips in a neutral position as well as in flexion, both with and without neck flexion. Data were analyzed by comparing pairwise differences.

RESULTS There were 28 subjects enrolled (13 girls and 15 boys) at a median age of 5 years. The sitting-flexed position provided a significantly increased interspinous space (P < .05). Flexion of the hips increased the interspinous space in both the sitting and lateral recumbent positions (P < .05). Flexion of the neck, did not significantly change the interspinous space (P = .998).
CONCLUSIONS The interspinous space of the lumbar spine was maximally increased with children in the sitting position with flexed hips; therefore we recommend this position for lumbar punctures. In the lateral recumbent position, neck flexion does not increase the interspinous space and may increase morbidity; therefore, it is recommended to hold patients at the level of the shoulders as to avoid neckflexion.
Positioning for lumbar puncture in children evaluated by bedside ultrasound
Pediatrics. 2010 May;125(5):e1149-53
A more recent study also used ultrasound in infants to investigate the anatomic necessity and advantage derived from a tight flexed lateral recumbent position, since hypoxia has been observed in that position:
Objectives:  Hypoxia has been observed when infants undergo lumbar puncture in a tight flexed lateral recumbent position. This study used sonographic measurements of lumbar interspinous spaces to investigate the anatomic necessity and advantage derived from this tight flexed positioning in infants.
Methods:  This was a brief, prospective, observational study of a convenience sample of patients. Twenty-one healthy infants under 1 month of age were scanned in two positions: prone in a spine-neutral position and lateral recumbent with their knees bent into their chest and their neck flexed. In each position, a 5- to 10-MHz linear array transducer was used to scan midline along the lumbar spinous processes in the sagittal plane. The distances between the spinous processes were measured near the ligamentum flavum using the ultrasound machine’s calipers. Pulse oximetry was monitored on all infants during flexed positioning.
Results:  In the spine-neutral position, all studied interspinous spaces were much wider than a 22-gauge spinal needle (diameter 0.072 cm). The mean (±SD) interspinous spaces for L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 in a spine-neutral position were 0.42 (±0.07), 0.37 (±0.06), and 0.36 (±0.11) cm, respectively. Flexing the infants increased the mean lumbar interspinous spaces at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 by 31, 51, and 44%, respectively.
Conclusions:  This study verified that tight, lateral flexed positioning substantially enhances the space between the lumbar spinous processes and that a spine-neutral position also allows for a large enough anatomic interspinous space to perform lumbar puncture. However, further clinical research is required to establish the feasibility of lumbar puncture in a spine-neutral position.
Evaluating infant positioning for lumbar puncture using sonographic measurements
Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Feb;18(2):215-8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.