Real-time detection of cerebrospinal fluid with bioimpedance needle in paediatric lumbar puncture

Harri Sievänen, Juho Kari, Sanna Halonen, Timo Elomaa, Outi Tammela, Hanna Soukka, Vesa Eskola

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Background: Lumbar puncture is a common clinical procedure that can occasionally be difficult. Various needle guidance methods can facilitate performing this procedure, but at the expense of special expertise, equipment and facility. In the present study, we evaluated the clinical feasibility of a novel bioimpedance needle system regarding its ability to detect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in paediatric lumbar punctures. Methods: We performed 40 lumbar puncture procedures using the bioimpedance needle system in 37 paediatric patients, aged from 0 days to 17 months, as a part of their prescribed examinations in two university hospitals. The bioimpedance needle is similar to a conventional 22G cutting-edge spinal needle with a stylet, except the needle and stylet are configured as a bipolar electrode with high spatial resolution. The system measures in real-time when the needle tip reaches the subarachnoid space containing CSF. The procedure was considered successful when the erythrocyte count was determined from the obtained CSF sample. Results: Subarachnoid space was verifiably reached in 28 out of 40 procedures (70%). Bioimpedance needle system detected CSF in 23 out of these 28 successful procedures (82%) while failed in 3 out of 28 procedures (11%). No adverse events were reported. Conclusion: Bioimpedance spinal needle system was found clinically feasible in paediatric lumbar punctures, and it may offer an objective and simple means to detect the time point when the needle tip is in contact with the cerebrospinal fluid.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bioimpedance measurement
  • infant
  • neonatal
  • spinal tap
  • tissue detection

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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