Collection of CSF specimens for Alzheimer’s Disease

SA Pathology sends CSF specimens for the highly-specialised Alzheimer test to the National Dementia Diagnostics Laboratory (NDDL) at the University of Melbourne.From 28 February, the NDDL will commence using the Roche Generation II (GII) CSF assay for detection of Alzheimer’s disease(β-Amyloid (1-42), Phospho Tau, Total Tau), requiring a significant change to the specimen collection requirements:

  • 2.5 ml of CSF must be collected directly into a specific blue capped tube (Sarstedt 63.614.625) at the time of lumbar puncture.
  • The CSF specimen must be stored at 2-8°C in a fridge. Note – do not freeze the specimen under any circumstances.
  • Tests will not be valid if SA Pathology laboratories (such as RAH Bacteriology) have to aliquot CSF into blue capped Sarstedt tubes post-collection.
  • If Alzheimer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) tests are required at the same time, 2.5 ml CSF in the blue capped Sarstedt tube will suffice.
  • The collection and handling of 2.0 ml CSF for CJD testing remains otherwise unchanged.

SA Pathology will maintain a supply of blue capped tubes (Sarstedt 63.614.625) at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.

Refer to the NDDL collection protocol for AD: Biomarker assay in Fresh CSF (GII) information sheet for more information about test collection.

All CSF specimens must be accompanied by a completed Specimen Data Sheet. Please contact the on-call clinical microbiologist on 8222 3123 if you have any questions.

Regards, A/Prof Tom DoddClinical Service Director
SA Pathology

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