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Should I be concerned about protein in CSF (104 mg/dL)?

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Posted on Thu, 17 Jan 2019
Question: Should I be concerned about protein in CSF (104 mg/dL)? Had a recent ER visit for severe sudden headache and got this report, but no interpretation or direction of what to do with the info.
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
It may indicate a pathological process.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to "Ask a Doctor" service.

I have read your query and here is my explanation.

Elevated protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid examination may be linked to several conditions such as viral or bacterial infections ( meningitis), subarachnoidal hemorrhage, Guillain-Barre syndrome, etc.

Protein levels alone can't be used to diagnose correctly the condition, all the CSF results (opening pressure, appearance, glucose levels, WBC, etc) should be investigated.

Also, a clinical correlation is necessary.

In regards to your symptoms, I guess that the CSF was drawn to evaluate a possible subarachnoidal hemorrhage and, in such a scenario, you should be concerned until a correct diagnosis is achieved.

Discuss with your Neurologist for these issues.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4018 Questions

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Should I be concerned about protein in CSF (104 mg/dL)?

Brief Answer: It may indicate a pathological process. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome to "Ask a Doctor" service. I have read your query and here is my explanation. Elevated protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid examination may be linked to several conditions such as viral or bacterial infections ( meningitis), subarachnoidal hemorrhage, Guillain-Barre syndrome, etc. Protein levels alone can't be used to diagnose correctly the condition, all the CSF results (opening pressure, appearance, glucose levels, WBC, etc) should be investigated. Also, a clinical correlation is necessary. In regards to your symptoms, I guess that the CSF was drawn to evaluate a possible subarachnoidal hemorrhage and, in such a scenario, you should be concerned until a correct diagnosis is achieved. Discuss with your Neurologist for these issues. Hope you found the answer helpful. Let me know if I can assist you further.