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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Diabetes and Endocrinology - Neurological Disorders - Pathology - Pediatrics and Child Health

Cerebrospinal Fluid Glucose and Lactate: Age-Specific Reference Values and Implications for Clinical Practice
Published: Monday, August 06, 2012
Author: Wilhelmina G. Leen et al.

by Wilhelmina G. Leen, Michèl A. Willemsen, Ron A. Wevers, Marcel M. Verbeek

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is an important tool in the diagnostic work-up of many neurological disorders, but reference ranges for CSF glucose, CSF/plasma glucose ratio and CSF lactate based on studies with large numbers of CSF samples are not available. Our aim was to define age-specific reference values. In 1993 The Nijmegen Observational CSF Study was started. Results of all CSF samples that were analyzed between 1993 and 2008 at our laboratory were systematically collected and stored in our computerized database. After exclusion of CSF samples with an unknown or elevated erythrocyte count, an elevated leucocyte count, elevated concentrations of bilirubin, free hemoglobin, or total protein 9,036 CSF samples were further studied for CSF glucose (n?=?8,871), CSF/plasma glucose ratio (n?=?4,516) and CSF lactate values (n?=?7,614). CSF glucose, CSF/plasma glucose ratio and CSF lactate were age-, but not sex dependent. Age-specific reference ranges were defined as 5–95th percentile ranges. CSF glucose 5th percentile values ranged from 1.8 to 2.9 mmol/L and 95th percentile values from 3.8 to 5.6 mmol/L. CSF/plasma glucose ratio 5th percentile values ranged from 0.41 to 0.53 and 95th percentile values from 0.82 to 1.19. CSF lactate 5th percentile values ranged from 0.88 to 1.41 mmol/L and 95th percentile values from 2.00 to 2.71 mmol/L. Reference ranges for all three parameters were widest in neonates and narrowest in toddlers, with lower and upper limits increasing with age. These reference values allow a reliable interpretation of CSF results in everyday clinical practice. Furthermore, hypoglycemia was associated with an increased CSF/plasma glucose ratio, whereas hyperglycemia did not affect the CSF/plasma glucose ratio.
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