Letters

Subarachnoid haemorrhage: lumbar puncture for every negative scan?

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7564.396-b (Published 17 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:396
  1. Timothy J Coats, professor of emergency medicine (tc61@le.ac.uk)
  1. University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 5WW

    EDITOR—In their article on subarachnoid haemorrhage Al-Shahi et al continue the fallacy that, as 2% of subarachnoid haemorrhage is missed on computed tomography, every patient must have a lumbar puncture.1 Quoting the sensitivity of computed tomography in this way may lead the unwary into the trap of thinking that about 1 in 50 lumbar punctures will be positive after a negative computed tomography. (I would probably consent to a lumbar …

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