Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Cerebrospinal fluid: collection and assessment

Synonym(s): CSF

Contributor(s): Gayle Hallowell , Mike Reynolds

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Introduction

  • To aid in diagnosis of neurologic disease.
  • Normal CSF analysis does not rule out the possibility of CNS disease.
  • CSF is an ultrafiltrate of plasma derived from the ventricular choroid plexuses and ependymal lining of ventricles, pia arachnoid and meningeal blood vessels. It provides a physical support medium for the CNS.
  • CSF can be collected from the atlanto-occipital (cisternal) or the lumbosacral site.

Uses

  • Suspected brain lesions.
  • Suspected spinal cord lesions.
  • Suspected multifocal or diffuse lesions of the CNS.

Advantages

  • CSF abnormalities highly significant and of diagnostic and prognostic value.

Disadvantages

  • Results of analysis may be unrewarding.
  • Atlanto-occipital collection may require heavy sedation or anesthesia (although new technique performed standing under ultrasonographic guidance avoids this need).
  • Lumbosacral puncture may be technically difficult to perform in a recumbent animal.
  • Full aseptic precautions required.
  • If dramatic drop in CSF pressure created during withdrawal of CSF, this may result in tentorial herniation and convulsions.
  • Atlanto-occipital collection contraindicated if signs of brain herniation, eg dilated pupils, are present.
  • Lumbosacral collection can become contaminated with blood.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Dependent on results of CSF analysis and response to treatment.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Braun U, Attiger J, Brammertz C (2015) Ultrasonographic examination of the spinal cord and collection of cerebrospinal fluid from the atlanto-occipital space in cattle. BMC Vet Res 11, 227  PubMed doi: 10.1186/s12917-015-0545-z.
  • Stokol T, Divers T J, Arrigan J W , McDonough S P (2009) Cerebrospinal fluid findings in cattle with central nervous system disorders: a retrospective study of 102 cases (1990-2008). Vet Clin Pathol 38(1), 103-112 PubMed doi: 10.1111/j.1939-165X.2008.00094.
  • Welles E G, Tyler J W, Sorjonen D C, Whatley E M (1992) Composition and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in clinically normal adult cattle. Am J Vet Res 53(11), 2050-2057 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Smith M O, George L W & Ven Metre D C (2015) In: Large Animal Internal Medicine. 5th Edition. Eds Smith B. Chapter 35. pp 917-1014.


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