Diabetes Basics

CSF Glucose Test to Measure Glucose in Cerebro Spinal Fluid

Measuring glucose levels is highly essential as it leads to a proper analysis of sugar levels inside our body and the rate at which the body consumes it. CSF Glucose test is one such test which aims to determine the levels of glucose inside the cerebro spinal fluid.

CSF Glucose Test-Method of Execution

CSF Glucose test is conducted by extracting and analyzing the glucose levels in the cerebro-spinal fluid. The fluid is obtained after making a lumbar puncture in the lower part of the spine. Using a needle a small puncture is made from which the fluid is thus extracted. The total time taken to puncture and extract the fluid is not more than twenty minutes.

Is There a Risk Involved?

Lumbar puncturing is a very delicate task. If not performed by an expert laboratory technician, it can pose certain risks. The risks posed by lumbar puncturing include the following:

* Allergic response to the anesthetic
* Bleeding into the spinal canal
* Discomfort throughout the test
* Headache following the test
* Risk of Infection

As you might have realized, the risks are quite serious (but not life-threatening). Hence, it is best that you get the CSF Glucose test done only at a certified clinical laboratory.

Is The Test Painful?

The thought of putting a needle inside the spinal tract scares many. Many think that since it is one of the main parts of the nervous system of the body any type of damage to it may make them disabled. However, such is not the case. The process of inserting the needle is almost painless. When done by expert hands, all one may feel is a pressure being exerted on the spine and nothing else.

On occasions, there might be a numbness travelling down the legs. This is no cause of worry and happens when a nerve root gets irritated. Headaches could be one after effect but they can be minimized by lying down for sometime after the test is done.

What Do The Results Indicate?

The objective of the test is to determine the level of glucose. Once the test is complete, the sample of CSF is analyzed for the glucose content. Usually, the level of glucose in CSF is slightly lower than the level found in blood (about 2/3 level of that in bloodstream). Ideally, this figure should be in the range of 50 to 80 mg/100 ml.

If the level of glucose is either less or more then there are reasons for worrying. However, they are not the same as that in the case of high blood sugar level in bloodstream. Lower or higher levels of glucose in CSF indicate the presence of the following:

* Inflammation of the central nervous system
* Bacterial or fungus infection
* Tumor