Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis may be used to help diagnose a wide variety of diseases and conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). They may be divided into four main categories:

CSF analysis usually involves an initial, basic set of tests performed when CSF analysis is requested:

  • CSF color, clarity and pressure during collection
  • CSF protein
  • CSF glucose
  • CSF cell count (total number of cells present)
  • CSF differential cell count (numbers of different types of cells present)
  • If infection is suspected, CSF gram stain and culture