Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Cerebrospinal fluid: sampling

Synonym(s): CSF tap; Cerebellomedullary cistern

Contributor(s): Kyle Braund, Laurent Garosi, Harry Scott

Introduction

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) produced by active secretion as well as selective filtration from blood by 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 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 mandatory for CSF collection.

Uses

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Best results obtained during acute phase of disease.
  • Requires general anesthesia.
  • Life-threatening complications.
  • May be associated with technique, eg tentorial herniation Brain: tentorial herniation associated with sudden release of pressure.

Contraindications for CSF collection

  • Patient unstable for general anesthesia.
  • Evidence of coagulopathy.
  • Instability or pathology suspected at the site of collection (eg atlanto-axial instability).
  • Severe hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus: congenital.
  • Recent head trauma Brain: trauma.
  • Imaging evidence of intracranial mass lesion or edema/hemorrhage causing mass effect.
  • Clinical indication of increased intracranial pressure Intracranial pressure measurement.

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

Other sources of information

  • How to perform a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) tap in a dog. VETgirl, LLC Veterinary Continuing Education Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqgV5G0kpl0
  • Walmsley H (2013)Clinical pathology.In:Manual of Canine and Feline Neurology.Platt S R, Olby N J (eds). British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, pp 36-58.
  • Crow S E & Walshaw S O (1997)Manual of Clinical Procedures in the Dog, Cat, and Rabbit.2nd edition. Lippincott-Raven Publications, Philadelphia.
  • Rusbridge C (1997)Collection and interpretation of cerebrospinal fluid in cats and dogs.In Practice19(6), 322-324, 327-331.
  • Braund K G (1994)Clinical Syndromes in Veterinary Neurology.2nd edition. Mosby Year Book, St. Louis. pp 368-376.


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