To determine reference ranges of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) laboratory findings in term and preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Data were collected prospectively as part of a multisite study of infants aged <6 months undergoing lumbar puncture for evaluation of suspected sepsis. Infants with a red blood cell count >500 cells/μL or a known cause of CSF pleocytosis were excluded from the analysis.
A total of 318 infants met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 148 infants (47%) were preterm, and 229 (72%) received antibiotics before undergoing lumbar puncture. The upper reference limit of the CSF white blood cell (WBC) count was 12 cells/μL in preterm infants and 14 cells/μL in term infants. CSF protein levels were significantly higher in preterm infants (upper reference limit, 209 mg/dL vs 159 mg/dL in term infants; P < .001), and declined with advancing postnatal age in both groups (preterm, P = .008; term, P < .001). CSF glucose levels did not differ in term and preterm infants. Antibiotic exposure did not significantly affect CSF WBC, protein, or glucose values.
CSF WBC counts are not significantly different in preterm and term infants. CSF protein levels are higher and decline more slowly with postnatal age in preterm infants compared with term infants. This study provides CSF reference ranges for hospitalized preterm and term infants, particularly in the first month of life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple studies have provided normative ranges for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) parameters in term and preterm infants and described changes with advancing postnatal age, as well as in special circumstances, such as traumatic lumbar puncture (LP), previous antibiotic administration, seizures, and concomitant infections at other sites. Although guidelines exist for the interpretation of CSF parameters in neonates, there appears to be no single combination of parameters that conclusively excludes meningitis. It remains important for clinicians to perform LPs early in the course of illness, ideally before the administration of antibiotic therapy. This review presents currently available literature on the indications for LP as well as guidelines for the interpretation of CSF parameters in neonates.
Seminars in perinatology 12/2012; 36(6):445-53. DOI:10.1053/j.semperi.2012.06.007 · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traumatic lumbar punctures occur frequently in the neonatal intensive care unit, making the interpretation of cerebrospinal fluid values difficult. We report correction factors for cerebrospinal fluid protein and white blood cells in the face of red blood cell contamination. These correction factors should facilitate the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis in high risk hospitalized infants.
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