ISSN 2398-2969      

Cerebrospinal fluid: sampling

Clapis
Contributor(s):

Vicki Baldrey

Synonym(s): Cerebrospinal fluid collection


Introduction

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced by active secretion as well as selective filtration from blood by the choroid plexus.
  • It should be clear and transparent (or colorless) and should not clot.
  • CSF normally has a low protein content and contains few cells.
  • Pathology in the central nervous system (CNS) is often reflected in the CSF when there is compromise of the blood-brain barrier, the blood-CSF barrier or the CSF's interface with the brain and spinal cord.
  • CNS disease does not consistently cause alterations in the CSF - abnormalities depend on the location and extent of the CNS lesion.
  • General anesthesia is required for CSF sampling.

Uses

  • Diagnosis of CNS disease.
  • Detection of specific pathogens in CSF samples.

Advantages

  • Easy to collect.
  • Full fluid analysis can be performed.
  • Enables contrast administration for imaging (myelogram).

Disadvantages

  • Best results obtained during acute phase of disease.
  • Requires general anesthesia.
  • Complications can be life threatening.

Contraindications

  • Patient too unstable for general anesthesia.
  • Increased intracranial pressure.
  • Recent head trauma.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Chitty J (2007) Clinical techniques: the subarachnoid space: its clinical relevance in rabbits. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine 16 (3), 179-182 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Richardson J & Keeble E (2014) Physical examination and clinical techniques. In: Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds. Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA. pp 80-107.

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