Ultrasound-assisted collection of cerebrospinal fluid from the lumbosacral space in equids

Monica R Aleman, Angela Borchers, Philip H Kass, Sarah M. Puchalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective - To describe ultrasonographic landmarks for use in collection of CSF from the lumbosacral region in equids. Design - Prospective study. Animals - 37 equids (27 with neurologic disease and 10 with nonneurologic disease). Procedures - Standing equids (n = 17) were sedated with detomidine hydrochloride (0.006 to 0.01 mg/kg [0.003 to 0.005 mg/lb], IV) followed by butorphanol tartrate (0.01 mg/kg, IV) and restrained with a nose twitch for collection of CSF. The CSF was collected from 20 laterally recumbent equids (10 sedated and 10 immediately after euthanasia). Anatomic landmarks were identified ultrasonographically. Height at the dorsal point of the shoulders, body weight, depth of the spinal needle, number of attempts to collect CSF, and cytologic evaluation of CSF were recorded. Results - Lumbosacral puncture cranial to the cranial border of the most superficial location of both tuber sacrale along the midline was consistently successful for CSF collection (35/37 equids). Two horses had anatomic abnormalities that precluded CSF collection. Mean number of attempts to collect CSF per animal was 1.1. Height and body weight were strongly correlated with needle depth for CSF collection. Pelvic and sacral displacement was observed in several laterally recumbent animals, which resulted in discrepancies of the midline between the cranial and caudal aspects of the vertebral column. In most equids, the spinal needle was aligned on the midline of the caudal aspect of the vertebral column. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Ultrasonography was a useful aid for collection of CSF from the lumbosacral space and decreased the risk of repeated trauma and contamina tion in equids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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