- Patient Preparation
- Indications: Detection and characterization of malignant cells in the central nervous system. In cytology, cerebrospinal fluid is most commonly evaluated to detect and characterize malignancy which may have gained access to the central nervous system. While in most individuals, CSF specimens are relatively easy to obtain, in some individuals collection may require radiographic guidance. In addition, due to lack of nutrients in this fluid, cells may rapidly degenerate rendering morphologic evaluation less than optimal if adequate care is not taken.
- Minimum of 3 mL cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). (10 mL CSF minimum required for immunologic marker studies)
Supplies: Standard cerebrospinal fluid collection equipment. Clean, clear 10 mL collection container for CSF. Fixative (50% ethyl alcohol).
Collection Procedure: Using standard CSF procedure, collect 3 mL of CSF. In general, morphology of cells within the CSF can be adequately maintained with prompt refrigeration for 24 hours. Although a fresh specimen is preferred, if a longer time period between collection and processing is anticipated, the specimen may be preserved by adding an equal volume of 50% ethyl alcohol to the specimen. Label the container with the patient's first and last name, date of birth, specimen type and collection date. Submit the specimen to the Cytopathology Laboratory along with the completed Cytology test request form.
Note: Specimens submitted for immunocytochemical testing must be submitted fresh.
- Specimen Preparation
- Storage/Transport Temperature
- Unacceptable Conditions
- Refer to the Specimen Rejection section in the Specimen Transport Guide.
- Refrigerated: 72 hours
- Cerebrospinal Fluid for Cytology (Cytology, Cerebrospinal Fluid)