The effect of lumbar puncture stress on dopamine and serotonin metabolites in human cerebrospinal fluid

Kelly K. Hill, Scott A. West, Nosa N. Ekhator, Ann B. Bruce, Matthew D. Wortman, Dewleen G. Baker, Thomas D. Geracioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In order to examine concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurochemicals, the technique of lumbar puncture is typically used. However, the effect of the intrinsic stress of undergoing a lumbar puncture on CSF monoamine concentrations in humans has not yet been established. We used lumbar puncture followed 3 h later by continuous CSF sampling to examine the effect of lumbar puncture on levels of the dopamine and serotonin metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), respectively. Additionally, we examined the effect of lumbar puncture on the CSF HVA to 5-HIAA ratio. Immediately post lumbar puncture, CSF concentrations of HVA and 5-HIAA were, respectively, only 51 and 54% of the mean levels detected hours later. However, the HVA to 5-HIAA ratio remained stable during lumbar puncture. While HVA and 5-HIAA levels in CSF obtained via lumbar puncture reflect highly variable responses to the stress of the procedure, the ratio of these metabolites is unaffected. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 26 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Research Advisory Group and Merit Review grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and grant No. 1K12MH009991 from the National Institute of Mental Health.


  • 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic acid
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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