Saint Louis University

Inventors: Enrique C. Leira, M.D. and Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D.


Lumbar puncture (LP) is a potentially hazardous procedure when the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure is above normal. Computerized tomography (CT) does not always permit a physician to anticipate the existence of elevated intracranial pressure. A simple pressure-locking valve, which attaches to the opening of a LP needle has been developed and demonstrated to block inappropriate loss of CSF in the event that intracranial pressure is excessive.

When intracranial pressure at the LP needle opening exceeds the pre-designed 200mm of water pressure-lock level, the piston in the pressure-locking valve translates thereby blocking the exit port and preventing excessive loss of CSF and herniation that can be caused by rapid release of elevated intracranial pressure. In laboratory studies with animals, the automatic pressure-locking valve routinely and rapidly responded to elevated hydrostatic pressure (> 200 mm of water) by blocking the outflow of fluid within 0.5-1 second.

Use of this simple pressure-locking valve during lumbar puncture could improve the safety of LP in certain clinical situations that are associated with high intracranial pressure and increased risk of excessive CSF loss and herniation such as in cases of bacterial meningitis and when CT neuro-imaging is unavailable.


Prevention of CSF loss and herniation due to elevated intracranial pressure during lumbar puncture.

Category: Medical Device

Keywords: Cerebral spinal fluid, CSF, lumbar puncture, LP, herniation, intracranial pressure, meningitis, CT scan.

Patent: U.S. Patent Application No. 10/706,322

License: Available

Reference Number: SLU 00-013

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