Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
149 Doctors are Online

How can tumor cells in the spinal fluid be diagnosed ?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
My 7 year daughter has medulloblastoma and it's removed by surgical process completely. The biopsy report not mentioned the Grade of tumor. Physician recommended for craniospinal radio therapy. Doctor suspecting that the tumor cells spread to spinal fluid. How can we diagnose the presence of tumor cells in the spinal fluid ? MRI or PET CT, which is better ? Please get me a reply.
Suresh K G
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 40 minutes later
Thanks for the query.

The best way to diagnose the presence of tumor cells in the spinal fluid, is to do a Cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) cytology analysis. This Fluid is obtained by a lumbar puncture, where in a very thin needle is inserted into the spinal canal and fluid is obtained for testing.

A lumbar puncture for CSF analysis is usually done by a experienced doctor ( General physician, Neurologist, or a Anesthetist) under local anesthesia, under strict aseptic conditions.

MRI or PET-CT are imaging studies that detect the gross anatomical lesions, They are not useful to detect the presence of the tumor cells within the CSF as the cell size is in microns and cannot be visible on the imaging procedures.

With respect to follow up procedures following the surgery, here are a few things that might help you.

Since the surgery, has been done recently, radiotherapy will be initiated soon. The need for chemotherapy and the indication will also be considered based on the size and specific location of the tumor.

Standard therapy for medulloblastoma consists of aggressive surgery followed by radiation to the entire craniospinal axis and with or without adjuvant chemotherapy.

Careful monitoring of response and treatment-associated side effects is performed weekly during radiotherapy and at least every 2 weeks during chemotherapy.

Following the completion of therapy, assessments are conducted every 3 months for the first 12-18 months, every 6 months for the next 2 years, and then annually, provided no complications have occurred.

Such assessments might include a MRI, depending on the physical examination findings.

I hope this helps to answer your questions effectively.

Please feel free to forward any additional queries, which I will be glad to answer.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Neurologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor