Cerebrospinal Fluid in Cerebral Hemorrhage and Infarction

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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abnormalities were correlated with pathological diagnoses in 61 patients with autopsy-verified intracerebral hemorrhage or cerebral infarction. Lumbar punctures were performed within one week of onset of symptoms. The CSF color and red blood cell counts were the most useful CSF parameters in differentiating between intracerebral hemorrhage and cerebral infarction. In 75% of the patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, the CSF was either grossly bloody or xanthochromic; in 25%, the CSF was clear. In patients with cerebral infarction, the CSF was never grossly bloody; in two patients with hemorrhagic infarction, the CSF was xanthochromic. The CSF pressure, protein values and leukocyte counts were less useful in differentiating intracerebral hemorrhage from cerebral infarction. Cases with hemorrhagic infarction could not be separated from those with ischemic infarction on the basis of CSF analysis. In clear CSF, the polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocyte (PNL) counts were never greater than 20 per cubic millimeter. In xanthochromic or cloudy CSF, leukocyte counts, especially PNLs, were frequently elevated, occasionally to high levels.

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