CSF collection and analysis

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Category: Neurology Club
Published on: 28.09.2017


Roberta Di Terlizzi,DVM, Dipl.ACVP (clin path)
Clinical Pathologist II

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About The Webinar

Analysis of CSF is an important diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. It can be used to help differentiate between many diseases of the CNS, it is a very sensitive test but not very specific. Analysis of CSF is indicated in any animal showing CNS signs if metabolic and toxic causes have been ruled out. To this end, it is crucial that a complete blood count, serum chemistry profile, and urinalysis and culture are obtained and interpreted before CSF is collected and analyzed. Essentially, CSF is the ultrafiltrate that is produced when blood passes through the choroid plexus. Red cells, white cells, platelets, most of the proteins (immunoglobulins, albumin), and most drugs cannot pass through the choroid plexus. Therefore CSF is colorless and transparent. It is produced at a rate of 0.05 ml/min in dogs and 0.02 ml/min in cats. It circulates from the ventricular system to the subarachnoid spaces of the brain and spinal cord. A CSF tap can be performed in any practice setting. CSF can be obtained either via cerebellomedullary cisternal puncture or via lumbar puncture. The cisternal tap is technically easier to perform, but a lumbar puncture is better for the diagnosis of primary lumbar spinal cord disease. General anesthesia is required for this procedure, as it ensures limited movement of the animal and enables the clinician to manipulate the head and neck as needed. In this webinar CSF collection, analysis and interpretation will be addressed.

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