Cytology, Cerebrospinal Fluid (INACTIVE as of 10/05/15; Refer to 2000623)
Ordering Recommendation
1-5 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
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 
Reference Interval
By report
Interpretive Data

CPT Code(s)
88108 or 88112 and/or 88106 - Additional CPT codes may apply if special studies are required
Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid for Cytology
  • CSF, cytology
  • Cytology, CSF