Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture) Directory
A spinal tap, also called a lumbar puncture, is a medical test in which fluid is collected from an area surrounding the spinal cord. The sample is studied for traces of bacteria and other infectious agents and is tested for blood cell count, protein, and other blood components. This test can be used to diagnose meningitis, MS, cancer, and more. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about what a spinal tap is, why it is done, how to prepare, and much more.
How Multiple Sclerosis Is Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose MS. WebMD explains the criteria and imaging tests used to determine if a person has multiple sclerosis.
Spinal Tap for Headache & Migraine Diagnosis
A spinal tap is one of several tests that can be used to diagnose headaches and migraines. Learn more about its role and how the test is done.
Multiple Sclerosis and the Spinal Tap
Learn how a spinal tap, also called a lumbar puncture, is used to diagnose disorders of the brain and spinal cord, including multiple sclerosis (MS).
Epilepsy and the Spinal Tap
Learn more about the spinal tap -- or lumbar puncture -- and how it's used to screen for epilepsy.