In addition to microbial culture, cytology, and immunological studies, physicians rely on the clinical chemistry laboratory for biochemical analysis of patients' cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, apart from routine glucose and protein determinations, the clinical value of other CSF analytes is often unclear. Here, we review the literature pertaining to the use of CSF biochemical measurements in managing patients with infectious disease, neoplasia, stroke and trauma, and dementia. Although a small number of studies demonstrate potential usefulness of some markers, we conclude that, without further study, the data are insufficient to support the routine clinical use of most of the analytes examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages18
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


  • AIDS dementia complex
  • Alzheimer disease
  • C-reactive protein
  • acetylcholinesterase
  • cancer
  • cardiac resuscitation
  • central nervous system
  • cerebral ischemia
  • creatine kinase
  • cytokines
  • encephalopathy
  • enolase
  • glucose
  • glutamine
  • hypoxia
  • isoenzymes
  • lactate
  • lactate dehydrogenase
  • leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • meningitis
  • monitoring therapy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuronal thread protein
  • pediatric chemistry
  • protein
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • tumor markers
  • β- amyloid protein
  • β- microglobulin


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