Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection in Great Apes (Disease Investigation & Management)

Summary Information

Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Management / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords CSF collection
Description For lumbar puncture (preferred): (B336.39.w39)
  • Identify the L3-L4 space. (B336.39.w39)
  • Shave and thoroughly clean the skin over the puncture site. (B336.39.w39)
  • Advance the needle (sharp, with a stylet) exactly on the midline, with the tip of the needle pointing slightly cranially. (B336.39.w39)
  • Frequently remove the stylet and check for CSF flowing from the needle, because the difference in tension as the needle advances through the dura and into the subarachnoid space is not always detectable. (B336.39.w39)
    • If blood is visible in the CSF this indicates that the needle has been advanced too far. (B336.39.w39)
Appropriate Use (?)
  •   Obtaining cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples.
Notes --
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Risk of spinal cord trauma.
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • A sharp needle with a stylet. (B336.39.w39)
Expertise level / Ease of Use
  • This procedure should only be carried out by an experienced veterinarian with appropriate clinical training and practical experience.
Cost/ Availability
  • Costs are those associated with anaesthetic, personnel time and consumables.
Legal and Ethical Considerations In some countries there may be legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery." (See: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons). 
Author Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
References B336.39.w39

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