, Volume 258, Issue 6, pp 1034-1041,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Summary of cerebrospinal fluid routine parameters in neurodegenerative diseases


In neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrospinal fluid analysis (CSF) is predominantly performed to exclude inflammatory diseases and to perform a risk assessment in dementive disorders by measurement of tau proteins and amyloid beta peptides. However, large scale data on basic findings of CSF routine parameters are generally lacking. The objective of the study was to define a normal reference spectrum of routine CSF parameters in neurodegenerative diseases. Routine CSF parameters (white cell count, lactate and albumin concentrations, CSF/serum quotients of albumin (Q alb), IgG, IgA, IgM, and oligoclonal IgG bands (OCB)) were retrospectively analyzed in an academic research setting. A total of 765 patients (Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), vascular dementia (VD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multisystem atrophy (MSA), motor neuron diseases (MND), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), Huntington’s disease (HD)) and non-demented control groups including a group of patients with muscular disorders (MD). The main outcome measures included statistical analyses of routine CSF parameters. Mildly elevated Q alb were found in a small percentage of nearly all subgroups and in a higher proportion of patients with PSP, MSA, VD, PDD, and MND. With the exception of 1 MND patient, no intrathecal Ig synthesis was observed. Isolated OCBs in CSF were sometimes found in patients with neurodegenerative diseases without elevated cell counts; lactate levels were always normal. A slightly elevated Q alb was observed in a subgroup of patients with neurodegenerative diseases and does not exclude the diagnosis. Extensive elevation of routine parameters is not characteristic and should encourage a re-evaluation of the clinical diagnosis.