3 doctors weighed in:

What exactly is a CSF culture & what is its purpose? Is it difficult to perform and does it take longer than blood cultures for a result to come back?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marc Serota
Dermatology

In brief: Similar to blood

A CSF culture is when you take a sample of CSF (usually from a lumbar puncture which samples the CSF from the spinal canal in the lower back - so yes a bit more difficult to perform but still pretty routine) and culture it to see if there are bacteria (or sometimes viruses) growing in it, usually to look for meningitis.
It takes the same amount of time as a blood culture (48 hours).

In brief: Similar to blood

A CSF culture is when you take a sample of CSF (usually from a lumbar puncture which samples the CSF from the spinal canal in the lower back - so yes a bit more difficult to perform but still pretty routine) and culture it to see if there are bacteria (or sometimes viruses) growing in it, usually to look for meningitis.
It takes the same amount of time as a blood culture (48 hours).
Dr. Marc Serota
Dr. Marc Serota
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Dr. Deborah Josefson
Internal Medicine

In brief: Spinal tap

CSF is cerebrospinal fluid which is obtained through a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.
It would be sent for culture to check for bacterial vs. viral or aseptic meningitis. Depending on the organism being cultured for it can take a few days to weeks for a result

In brief: Spinal tap

CSF is cerebrospinal fluid which is obtained through a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.
It would be sent for culture to check for bacterial vs. viral or aseptic meningitis. Depending on the organism being cultured for it can take a few days to weeks for a result
Dr. Deborah Josefson
Dr. Deborah Josefson
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Soroosh Armandi
I 100 percent agree!
Dr. Soroosh Armandi
The only thing I would add is that a fungal culture can also be added.
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