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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Test Catalogue

​Cerebrospinal Fluid


​ ​Specimen Requirements

  • ​Cerebrospinal fluid collected via lumbar puncture or shunt
  • Sterile, leak-proof, plastic specimen container or tube
​Collection Procedure
  • ​Label container with patient’s first and last name, personal health number (PHN) and date and time of collection. Write “CSF” on container.
  • If Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) is suspected, testing is at the discretion of the pathologist. Confirm with pathologist BEFORE transport. If testing is deemed necessary by the pathologist, CJD must be clearly indicated on the requisition.
  • Securely tighten container and place in biohazard bag. Place completed requisition, with label facing out, in outside pouch.
  • Deliver immediately to Cytology laboratory and place in refrigerator
​Required Volume
  • Optimal Volume: 3 mL to 10 mL
  • Minimum Volume: 1 mL
    (Submitting the minimum volume makes it impossible to repeat the test or perform confirmatory/reflex testing. In some situations, a minimum volume may require a second collection)
  • ​Refrigerate
  • If specimen is collected after 2:00 p.m. on weekdays or at any time on weekends, Cytolyt should be added (minimum one part Cytolyt to three parts specimen)
    • Note addition of Cytolyt or alcohol on requisition
Grounds for Rejection​

Testing Information​ ​

  • ​Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays), 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Testing Site​
  • ​SCH
  • ​Microscopic evaluation of cytospin preparation
​Specimen Retention
  • ​Until case is signed out by pathologist
  • Slides are retained for 20 years

Testing Ordering Requirements​ ​

Forms Required

​If you choose to print this information, it is valid only on date of print.

Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-145 v2

Last Modified: Monday, July 18, 2016 |
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