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CSF coccidioides complement fixation
Alternative namesSpinal fluid coccidioides antibody test; Coccidioides antibody test of spinal fluid
DefinitionThis test is used to determine if a fungus ( Coccidioides immitis ) is present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
How the test is performedThe test is usually performed on fluid obtained by lumbar puncture ( spinal tap ).
The cerebrospinal fluid is then analyzed in the lab. Complement fixation is a specific laboratory technique to determine the presence of antibodies formed when an individual has been exposed to an antigen (in this case, the antigen is Coccidioides immitis fungus).
How to prepare for the testA consent form must be signed. You should be prepared to remain in the hospital for at least the 6 to 8 hours afterwards, and you should remain lying flat.
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feelThe position may be uncomfortable, but it is imperative that you remain in the curled position to avoid moving the needle and possibly injuring the spinal cord.
The scrub will feel cold and wet. The anesthetic will sting or burn when first injected. There will be a hard pressure sensation when the needle is inserted, and there is usually some brief pain when the needle goes through the meninges. This pain should stop in a few seconds. Overall, discomfort is minimal to moderate. The entire procedure usually takes about 30 minutes but may take longer, the actual pressure measurements and fluid collection only takes a few minutes.
Why the test is performedComplement fixation is the most sensitive test for the fungus coccidioides.
Normal ValuesThe presence of no fungus is normal.
What abnormal results meanIf the test is positive for fungus, the results indicate an active infection (see disseminated coccidioidomycosis ).
What the risks are
Special considerationsThis test may also be done as a blood test, as well as on the CSF (see Coccidioides complement fixation ). The CSF test means that there is an infection in the central nervous system, while the blood test just shows that there is infection somewhere in the body.
Update Date: 8/18/2003Daniel Levy, M.D., Ph.D., Infectious Diseases, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT