With increasing awareness of CT's irradiation risk, I thought I would review a classic 2001 article from the New England Journal of Medicine. Head CT's previously were commonly performed prior to all lumbar punctures (LP) to rule-out meningitis. When can you safely go straight to an LP without imaging?
Caveat: This review only applies to those patients in whom you suspect meningitis. This does not apply to those being worked up for subarachnoid hemorrhage.
This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews Skipping the Head CT Prior to LP for meningitis.
Feel free to download this card and print on a 4'' x 6'' index card.