CSF total protein is a test to determine the amount of
How the test is performed
A sample of CSF is needed. A
Other methods for collecting CSF are rarely used, by may be recommended in some cases. They include:
Removal of CSF from a tube that is already in the CSF, such as a shunt or ventricular drain.
After the sample is taken, it is sent to a laboratory for evaluation.
How to prepare for the test
How the test will feel
Why the test is performed
Your doctor may order this test to help diagnose tumors, infection, inflammation of several groups of nerve cells, vasculitis, blood in the spinal fluid, or injury.
The normal protein range varies from lab to lab, but is typically about 15 to 60 mg/dL.
Note: mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
What abnormal results mean
An abnormal protein level in the CSF suggests that there is an abnormal process occurring in the central nervous system.
When the protein level increases, it may be a sign of a tumor, bleeding, nerve inflammation, or injury. Protein can rapidly build up in the lower spinal area where the lumbar puncture is done, if something is blocking the flow of spinal fluid.
When the protein level in decreases, it can mean your body is rapidly producing spinal fluid.
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Hemorrhage – subarachnoid
chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy
What the risks are