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Course provided by LabCE.

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Continuing Education Credits

Course number 20-547609, approved through 9/1/2020


  • Identify the origin, function, and composition of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
  • Identify proper CSF specimen handling procedures.
  • Describe the macroscopic appearance of normal and abnormal CSF.
  • Explain manual cell counting techniques for undiluted and diluted CSF samples.
  • Explain CSF smear preparation techniques.
  • Identify nucleated cells that may be observed on a stained CSF smear.
  • Explain the significance of various cells that may be observed in CSF.

Customer Ratings

(based on 2,106 customer ratings)

Course Outline

  • Introduction to Cerebrospinal Fluids
      • What is Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)?
      • Three Main Functions of CSF
      • Chemical Substances Present in CSF
      • Cells Present in Normal CSF
      • CSF Evaluation and Diagnosis
  • Specimen Collection and Processing
      • CSF Specimen Collection Process
      • Collection Tubes, continued
      • Specimen Labeling and Transport
      • Specimen Handling and Storage
      • Initial Specimen Examination
      • Safety Precautions
  • Macroscopic Characteristics
      • Abnormalities
      • Turbidity
      • Clot/Pellicle
      • Bloody Specimen
      • Detecting Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
      • Xanthochromia
      • Other Causes of Xanthochromia
      • Causes of Xanthochromia in Premature Infants
      • Important Aspects of Xanthochromia
  • Cell counting techniques
      • Normal Cell Counts
      • Examining CSF Using the Hemocytometer
      • Examining CSF Using the Hemocytometer, continued
      • Counting Nucleated Cells in a Bloody CSF Specimen
      • Cell Counting Guidelines
  • Cell Identification
      • Stained Cytospin Preparations of CSF
      • Cytocentrifuge Technique
      • Nucleated Cells That May Be Present In CSF
      • Lymphocytes
      • Neutrophils
      • Bacterial Meningitis
      • Monocyte/Macrophage
      • Macrophages As Indicators of Previous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH)
      • Normal Peripheral Blood Cells
      • Bone Marrow Contamination of CSF Sample
      • Blast Cells
      • More Blast Cells
      • Malignant Cells
      • Malignant Cells, continued
      • Malignant Cells, continued
  • References
      • References
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