What is the CSF-VDRL Test?

The CSF-VDRL test is a medical procedure done to detect syphilis in a patient. It is a spinal test conducted usually to examine the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to detect any sign of infection of the central nervous system caused by the bacteria of the Syphilis family. It is basically an extension to the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) Test which is used to detect blood borne infection caused by the same family of bacteria.

Prepare for the CSF-VDRL Test

The samples needed for the scan are taken through a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. Care should be taken to disinfect the needle that is inserted into the spine in order to prevent any infection. Before going for the scan, it is important to inform your doctor about your medical conditions. You should also inform him about any medicines or blood thinners that you may be taking.

Procedure for the CSF-VDRL Test

The method used for the CSF-VDRL Test is a lumbar puncture. A needle is inserted between two vertebrae in the lower back region and a small amount of fluid is collected. This fluid is then sent to a laboratory for testing. It usually takes a few days for the results to come back.

Types of CSF-VDRL Test

There are two types of CSF-VDRL Test. The first is the direct CSF-VDRL Test which looks for treponemal antibodies and determines if there is an active infection of the Syphilis bacteria. The second type is the indirect or fluorochrome test which utilizes a fluorescent antibody stain which binds to treponemal antigen in the cerebrospinal fluid, indicating a past or current infection.

Risks Associated with CSF-VDRL Test

The biggest risk associated with the CSF-VDRL Test is that of infection. If the pin used to extract the fluid is not sterile, antibiotic resistant bacteria or viruses can be introduced into the body. These bacteria or viruses can remain in the body and cause infections and illnesses. Other risks include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, nausea, and dizziness.

Why is CSF-VDRL Test conducted?

The CSF-VDRL Test is conducted to detect or rule out the presence of syphilis in a patient. It is a reliable way to check if a person is suffering from an active or latent form of the contagious disease. The test is considered to be quite accurate and is one of the few methods to detect Syphilis.

When is CSF-VDRL Test suggested?

The CSF-VDRL Test is suggested when a person shows symptoms of syphilis like rashes, swollen lymph nodes, menstrual irregularities, and joint pain. It is also done when an individual has had unprotected sexual contact with an individual known to have the disease, or if the patient’s partner has been diagnosed with syphilis.