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Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Tests: Normal Values

By

Osvaldo Padilla

, MD, MPH, Texas Tech Health Science Center;


Jude Abadie

, PhD, Texas Tech University Health Science Center

Last full review/revision Dec 2021| Content last modified Dec 2021
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Reference values vary based on several factors, including the specific laboratory that supplies them. A patient's CSF test values should be interpreted based on the reference value of the laboratory in which the test was done; the laboratory typically provides these values with the test result. Some representative values are listed in alphabetical order in the following table.

Table

Representative Laboratory Reference Values: Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)*

Test

Conventional Units

SI Units

Cell count

0–5 lymphocytes/mcL

0–5 x 106 lymphocytes/L

Glucose

40–80 mg/dL (< 40% of simultaneously measured plasma level if that plasma level is abnormal)

2.2–4.4 mmol/L (< 40% of simultaneously measured plasma level is abnormal)

Myelin basic protein

< 1.5 ng/mL

< 1.5 mcg/L

Protein, total

15–60 mg/dL

150–600 mg/L

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