Clinical and experimental studies have shown that destruction of central nervous system parenchyma is associated with increased activity of the enzyme glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase * in the cerebrospinal fluid.1,2 In a recent survey of cerebrospinal fluid transaminase in neurologic diseases, we reported this activity to be elevated in the majority of cases of cerebral infarction studied.3 High levels were usually reached by the third day of the disease; a pattern of gradually increasing activity was present in several patients subjected to repeated lumbar punctures over a 30-day period. No changes in serum levels were observed. Conversely, several patients without neurologic symptoms or signs, but with hepatic or muscle necrosis, had extremely high serum activities and normal cerebrospinal fluid levels.
The cerebrospinal fluid transaminase activity was not significantly increased in 14 cases of primary brain tumor.3 Because of this difference in enzyme findings between cerebrovascular disease and primary brain tumor,
GREEN JB, OLDEWURTEL HA, O'DOHERTY DS, FORSTER FM. Cerebrospinal Fluid Transaminase and Lactic Dehydrogenase Activities in Neurologic Disease. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(2):148–156. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340080018002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.