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Table 4 Reference ranges for routine parameters

From: S1 guidelines “lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid analysis” (abridged and translated version)

ParameterMethodReference range
AppearanceInspectionclear, colorless
Cell count (Leukocytes/μL)Manual evaluation by light microscopy, Fuchs-Rosenthal chamber< 5
Differential cytology stainingManual evaluation by light microscopy, Pappenheim stainingLymphomonocytic (ratio 2:1 bis 3:1)
Total protein (mg/L)Nephelometry/Turbidimetry< 500
L-Lactate (mmol/L)Enzymatic0.9 – 2.7 (age dependent) [102]
Glucose (L/S)Enzymatic> 0.50
Albumin (L/Sx10−3)Nephelometry< 5 - 10 (age dependent)
Ig-Synthesis in CNSNephelometryNot detectable
PathogensGram staining, culture, light microscopy, PCR, antigen detectionNot detectable
Pathogen-specific antibody (intrathecal synthesis)Enzyme immunoassaysNot detectable
Brain-specific proteins (pg/mL)Enzyme immunoassaysTau-Protein (< 450)
Phospho-Tau (< 60)
Abeta1-42 (> 550)
(Laboratory- and assay dependent ranges)
Abeta1-42/Abeta1-40-Quotient (> 0,1)
  1. L/S = CSF/Serum quotient