Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is a group of laboratory tests that measure proteins, sugar (glucose), and other chemicals in the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
A sample of CSF is needed. A lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, is the most common way to collect this sample. For information on this procedure, see lumbar puncture. Other methods for collecting CSF are rarely used, but may be recommended in some cases. See also:
After the sample is taken, it is sent to the laboratory for evaluation.
See: Lumbar puncture
See: Lumbar puncture
Analysis of CSF can help detect certain conditions and diseases. All of the following can be, but are not always, measured in a sample of CSF:
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
An abnormal CSF analysis result may be due to many different causes, including:
For information regarding risks of a spinal tap, see: Lumbar puncture
Griggs RC, J zefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 418.
Review Date: 6/24/2009
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