Pioneers in the cisterna magna puncture
Abstract At the beginning of the 20th century, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection and analysis emerged as a promising aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the central nervous system. It was obtained through the established procedure of lumbar puncture, described by Heinrich Quinke in 1891. The search for an alternative way to gather the CSF emerged in animal research, highlighting the cisterna magna as a promising source, with relative safety when performed by someone trained. Described initially and in detail by James Ayer in 1920, the procedure was widely adopted by neurologists and psychiatrists at the time, featuring its multiple advantages and clinical applications. After a period of great procedure use and exponential data collection, its complications and risks relegated the puncture of the cisterna magna as an alternative route that causes fear and fascination in modern Neurology.