Predictions of the length of lumbar puncture needles

Hon Ping Ma, Yun Fei Hung, Shin Han Tsai, Ju Chi Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. The lumbar puncture is a well-known neurological procedure. The purpose of this study is to build an accurate mathematical formula to estimate the appropriate depth for inserting a lumbar puncture needle for a beginner. Methods. This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the L-spine. The depth from the skin to the posterior and anterior margin of the spinal canal at the level of L4-L5 and L3-L4 interspaces of the spine was estimated using MRI. Results. Three hundred sixty-eight patients aged between 20 and 89 years were studied. The optimal puncture depths of the lumbar puncture needle were moderately strongly related to weight and BMI. The most accurate models with the highest coefficient of determination were 1.27 + 0.18 x BMI and 1.68 + 0.067 x weight (kg) for man and woman, respectively. Conclusion. The best formula for men and women provides the most accurate estimates for adults based on the MRI of the L-spine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number732694
JournalComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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