Objectives: To determine age-specific reference values and quantify age-related changes for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) white blood cell (WBC) counts and protein and glucose concentrations in infants ≤60 days of age.
Methods: This multicenter, cross-sectional study included infants ≤60 days old with CSF cultures and complete CSF profiles obtained within 24 hours of presentation. Those with conditions suspected or known to cause abnormal CSF parameters (eg, meningitis) and those with a hospital length of stay of >72 hours were excluded. Reference standards were determined for infants ≤28 days of age and 29 to 60 days of age by using the third quartile +1.5 interquartile range for WBC and protein and the first quartile -1.5 interquartile range for glucose. CSF parameter centile curves based on age were calculated by using the LMST method.
Results: A total of 7766 patients were included. CSF WBC counts were higher in infants ≤28 days of age (upper bound: 15 cells/mm3) than in infants 29 to 60 days of age (upper bound: 9 cells/mm3; P < .001). CSF protein concentrations were higher in infants ≤28 days of age (upper bound: 127 mg/dL) than in infants 29 to 60 days of age (upper bound: 99 mg/dL; P < .001). CSF glucose concentrations were lower in infants ≤28 days of age (lower bound: 25 mg/dL) than in infants 29 to 60 days of age (lower bound: 27 mg/dL; P < .001).
Conclusions: The age-specific CSF WBC count, protein concentration, and glucose concentration reference values identified in this large, multicenter cohort of infants can be used to interpret the results of lumbar puncture in infants ≤60 days of age.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.