Cerebrospinal fluid findings in geriatric patients from 2008 to 2011.
Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Jun;46(4):353-7
Authors: Djukic M, Schulz D, Schmidt H, Lange P, Nau R
BACKGROUND: The chemical composition of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is age-dependent.
METHODS: Routine CSF parameters, the indications for lumbar puncture (LP), and the most frequent complications were retrospectively studied in patients older (n = 167) and younger (n = 36) than 65 years.
RESULTS: In the absence of meningeal inflammation, the mean CSF lactate level of patients older than 65 years was slightly but significantly higher than the mean CSF lactate level of younger patients. The lactate level of patients with otherwise normal CSF findings correlated significantly with the age of the patients. In the absence of meningeal inflammation, the CSF-to-serum albumin ratio (QAlbumin) was significantly higher in older patients than in younger ones. The most frequent indication for LP, suspected infection of the central nervous system (CNS) (n = 110), was confirmed in 12.7% of patients. The only LP complication documented was headache in two patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevations of QAlbumin and CSF lactate levels appear to be nonspecific findings in elderly patients. Suspected infections, the most frequent indication for LP, were confirmed by CSF analysis in more than 10% of patients. The very low complication rate of LP makes it a very valuable tool in the diagnostic routine for older patients with CNS diseases.
PMID: 22903361 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]