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VDRL, Cerebrospinal Fluid

Test ID: 


CPT code:



CSF Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) Test

Clinical Use:

Test for syphilis, neurosyphilis

Test Information:

A positive VDRL in a spinal fluid uncontaminated by serum is essentially diagnostic of neurosyphilis; however, a negative test may occur in 30% of patients with tabes dorsalis. The CSF VDRL may take years to become nonreactive after adequate therapy. In AIDS patients, serial CSF VDRL determinations may be needed when neurosyphilis is suspected. By requiring either a positive plasma RPR or FTA-ABS, seropositivity of CSF VDRL could increase to 90%.

Specimen Type:

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Requested Volume: 

1 mL

Minimum Volume: 

0.5 mL

Container Type: 

Sterile tube


Spinal tap

Storage Instructions:


Rejection Criteria

Hemolysis; gross bacterial contamination

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