Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis and Interpretation

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • To identify possible mass lesion or other causes of elevated intracranial pressure. Consider CT scan of the brain in pts with suspected meningitis to prevent herniation
    • Consider in pts with:
      • Immunocompromised states/impaired cellular immunity
      • History of CNS disease (e.g., mass lesions)
      • New-onset seizure
      • Papilledema
      • Abnormal level of consciousness
      • Focal neurologic deficit
  • DO NOT delay empiric antibiotics if LP is delayed – obtain blood cultures and promptly institute antibiotic therapy.

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Last updated: June 15, 2010