Neurology Book

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CSF PCR

Aka: CSF PCR, CSF Polymerase Chain Reaction, Cerebrospinal Fluid PCR
  1. Indications
    1. Suspected enterovirus Meningitis
      1. Allows for early hospital discharge
    2. Suspected Herpes Simplex VirusEncephalitis
    3. Suspected CytomegalovirusEncephalitis
  2. Preparations: Available PCR tests
    1. Viral Meningitis sensitivity overall: 95-100%
    2. HSV Type I sensitivity: 100%
    3. Epstein-Barr Virus sensitivity: 100%
    4. Enterovirus sensitivity: 100%
    5. Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
      1. PCR is gold standard
    6. Tuberculosis sensitivity: 54-100%
    7. Acute Neurosyphilis
      1. Lower sensitivity in chronic Neurosyphilis
    8. West Nile Virus
    9. Varicella Zoster Virus
  3. Advantages
    1. High sensitivity and Specificity
    2. Fast
    3. Requires only small CSF volumes
  4. Disadvantages
    1. Expensive
  5. References
    1. Seehusen (2003) Am Fam Physician 68:1103-8 [PubMed]

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