WHAT IS CEREBROSPINAL FLUID (ROUTINE) TEST?
This test includes cultures for anaerobic, aerobic, and acid-fast organisms, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, or viruses. A culture of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for fungus is performed to detect systemic fungal infections and normally harmless fungi that become pathogenic in the presence of immunosuppressive conditions. Although tentative identification of fungi can be made quickly with staining techniques, a culture of the organism on a special fungal culture medium is required to confirm a diagnosis of a fungal infection. Cell count and cytologic examination (the number and character of cells) are performed to identify the presence of abnormal cells, infective organisms, or variations in the usually low numbers of red and white blood cells. Abnormalities include increases in the numbers of normal cells or the presence of neoplastic cells.