What is the indication for glucose assessment of CSF from lumbar puncture (LP)?

Updated: Aug 02, 2018
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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The CSF glucose level normally approximates 60% of the peripheral blood glucose level at the time of the tap. A simultaneous measurement of blood glucose (especially if the CSF glucose level is likely to be low) is recommended.

A low CSF glucose level is usually associated with bacterial infection (probably due to enzymatic inhibition rather than to actual bacterial consumption of the glucose). This finding is also seen in tumor infiltration and may be one of the hallmarks of meningeal carcinomatosis, even with negative cytologic findings. A high CSF glucose level has no specific diagnostic significance and is most often spillover from an elevated blood glucose level.

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