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Cytology specimens of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be hypocellular, and the cells in CSF specimens degrade rapidly.
In the current study, the authors attempted to determine whether the addition of RPMI media to CSF specimens at the time of their receipt in the laboratory could improve the cellularity of specimens that would be processed 24 hours and 48 hours later.
Compared with the initial specimen that was processed at the time of receipt in the laboratory, specimens with RPMI added preserved at least 90% of their cellularity. In contrast, specimens that were processed without RPMI lost 70% and 94% of their cellularity at 24 hours and 48 hours, respectively, even with refrigeration.
For CSF specimens that cannot be immediately processed, the addition of RPMI appears to significantly improve cellularity at 24 hours to 48 hours after their receipt in the laboratory. Cancer (Cancer Cytopathol) 2013;121:271–4. © 2012 American Cancer Society.