Definition

The CSF-VDRL test is used to help diagnose neurosyphilis. It looks for substances called reagins, which are sometimes produced by the body in reaction to the syphilis-causing bacteria.

Alternative Names

Venereal disease research laboratory slide test – CSF

How the test is performed

A sample of spinal fluid is needed. For information on how this is taken, see: Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

Why the test is performed

The CSF-VDRL test is done to diagnose syphilis in the brain or spinal cord. Brain and spinal cord involvement is usually a sign of late stage syphilis.

Blood screening tests (VDRL and RPR) are better at detecting middle stage (secondary) syphilis.

Normal Values

A negative result is normal.

However, false-negatives can occur. This means you can have syphilis even if this test is normal. Therefore, a negative test does not always rule out the infection. Other signs and tests may be used to diagnose neurosyphilis.

What abnormal results mean

A positive result is abnormal and is a sign of neurosyphilis.

EmailTwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn