Establishment of a Cerebrospinal Fluid Bank
In most clinical laboratories, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is discarded within several days. Such disposal is unfortunate since the study of various compounds and their metabolites in CSF can provide clinicians and researchers with an expanded view of central nervous system (CNS) function and pathophysiology. Since CSF from patients with a variety of neurologic and medical conditions is not readily available for use in these studies, a cryorepository or “Bank” of well-characterized cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been established by collecting and storing (-75 C) CSF samples remaining after completion of routine clinical studies. Since 1986, over 11,000 individual patient samples have been deposited in the CSF Bank and are available for retrospective research purposes. Wherever possible, corresponding plasma or serum is stored with the CSF sample. The CSF and blood are aseptically aliquoted into polypropylene or glass freezer vials. A database derived largely from information downloaded from hospital-based systems includes the results of all CSF laboratory studies, in addition to the patient age and the primary discharge diagnoses. By organizing the storage of CSF and corresponding blood within 24–48 hours of collection and following established storage techniques, uniform samples with associated patient information can be provided to investigators. The database permits rapid sample selection based on clinical or laboratory parameters as defined by the investigator.