The comparative ease with which tubercle bacilli can be detected in the spinal fluid obtained from patients with tuberculous meningitis, thus establishing a positive diagnosis, does not seem to be so generally appreciated as it should be. A recent article by G. Canby Robinson1 is therefore timely. This article states that fluid obtained by lumbar puncture from cases of tuberculous meningitis is characteristic in its appearance, being generally almost clear, with a slight opalescence or at most a slight turbidity, and with a tendency to develop a delicate, cobweb-like coagulum after standing for a short time. Normal spinal fluid is clear, watery and without tendency to coagulate; while in acute meningitis due to the meningococcus, pneumococcus, or pyogenic organisms, the fluid is, almost without exception, distinctly purelent. It is fair to say that when clear, slightly opalescent fluid in which a veil-like clot forms in a few hours, is
DEMONSTRATION OF TUBERCLE BACILLI IN SPINAL FLUID. JAMA. 1908;L(16):1269–1270. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530420037006
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