The technologist is responsible for examining CSF samples as they are received. If any of the following conditions are present, the results of testing could be uninterpretable:
- Tubes are not labeled, or there is an error in patient identification information.*
- Tubes are not numbered.
- Specimen contains a blood clot.
- Specimen contains less than 0.5 ml CSF.
*Usually, best practice is to reject specimens that are not labeled, or labeled incorrectly; however, CSF is a specimen that cannot be recollected. Therefore, the laboratory should have a policy that permits correction of patient identification information on specimens that cannot, or cannot easily, be recollected.