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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Cell Count, CSF

Test Code(s): CFCC / HCCFCC

CPT Code(s): 89051

Test Description: Test Component:

Supernatant color, nucleated cell count, red blood cell count and differential performed from a Wright's stained cytospin.

Methodology: Manual or Impedance Count

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Cell count 1 hour.
Routine: Differential less than 24 hours. Turnaround time met unless review by a pathologist is necessary.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or ventricular fluid

Collection Instructions: It is preferable to have the first tube analyzed for chemical and serologic studies.  Subsequent tubes should be used for microbial and cellular analysis.  Indicate on the request form the collection tube number and any past or present malignancies.  Specimen must be placed in container that does not contain an anticoagulant.

Collection Container: Preferred: Numbered specimen tube from sterile disposable lumbar puncture tray
Also Acceptable: Sterile container

Collection Volume: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.5 mL

Sample Analyzed: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or ventricular fluid aliquot

Volume Required: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.5 mL

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220) immediately. Transport with coolant pack if coming from outreach location.

Unacceptable Criteria: Samples that are clotted are not acceptable.

Stability: Ambient: 2 hours
Refrigerated: 2 hours
Frozen: Not acceptable


On samples with abnormal cells, a hematopathologist's written interpretive report is issued as a separate report.

Test Limitations:

Very small sample sizes may fail to demonstrate abnormal cells.

Critical Calls: View

Additional Information:

Differential results may not be available until after pathology review. A professional fee may be associated with this test. See separate Laboratory Test Directory entries for body fluid cell counts.

CSF Cell Count Differential ventricular fluid

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