Pfausler et al reported the CSF Cell Index (CI) as an aid in detecting ventriculitis in a patient with an external ventricular drain and intraventricular hemorrhage. The authors are from University Hospital Innsbruck in Austria.



(1) leukocyte count in the CSF

(2) erythrocyte count in the CSF

(3) leukocyte count in the peripheral blood

(4) erythrocyte count in the peripheral blood


Units are in SIU.


A =

= (CSF leukocyte count) / (CSF erythrocyte count)


B =

= (leukocyte count in peripheral blood) / (erythrocyte count in the peripheral blood)


CSF cell index =

= A / B =

= (CSF leukocyte count) * (erythrocyte count in blood) / ((leukocyte count in blood) * (CSF erythrocyte count))


This form of equation is similar to the indices used to evaluate a patient for multiple sclerosis.



• Normally the CSF CI hovers from 0 to 2.

• With the onset of ventriculitis the CI climbs over 10.

• With successful treatment of the ventriculitis the index returns to baseline.

• The index should be calculated daily to detect the onset of ventriculitis before it is clinically evident.


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