If blood contamination is present in the CSF, and if it is assumed that all blood in the CSF is due to peripheral blood contamination, then the amount of protein in the CSF due to peripheral blood contamination shows the same proportion as the amount of red blood cells.


Specimen: CSF protein and cell count are done on the same tube of blood.


corrected protein in CSF in mg/dL =

= (protein in bloody CSF) - ((protein in blood) * (RBC in CSF) / (RBC in blood))



• protein is in mg/dL

• RBC is in red blood cells per µL


If the serum protein and RBC are normal:


corrected CSF total protein in mg/dL =

= (measured CSF total protein in mg/dL) - [(CSF RBC count per µL) / 1000]


This reduces the measured protein value 1 mg/dL for each 1,000 RBCs per microliter.


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