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October 1969

The Study of Cells in Cerebrospinal Fluid by Electron Microscopy: A New Method

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1969;21(4):358-362. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480160030003

THE EXAMINATION of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for cytologic diagnosis has been widely performed. Although this can be a useful diagnostic technique, there are serious limitations in the identification of cells by light microscopy. It would be advantageous to study cells obtained from spinal fluid by electron microccopy. The present paper describes a technique which permits recovery and processing of a very small number of cells from CSF for examination by electron microscopy.

Method  Cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture is collected in a centrifuge tube. An equal volume of 4% cold phosphate-buffered glutaraldehyde1 is added immediately. Fixation continues for one hour or less at 4 C. During the last 15 minutes of fixation, the fluid is centrifuged at 3,000 rpm. The supernatant is decanted. Cold phosphate buffer is added to the sediment, which is then agitated and recentrifuged.The sediment is further fixed in 2%

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