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Definition of Cerebrospinal fluid

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cerebrospinal fluid: A watery fluid that is continuously produced and absorbed and that flows in the ventricles within the brain and around the surface of the brain and spinal cord. Abbreviated CSF. CSF is produced by the choroid plexus, a series of infolded blood vessels that project into the cerebral ventricles, and it is absorbed into the venous system. If production exceeds absorption, CSF pressure rises, and the result is hydrocephalus. This can also occur if the CSF pathways are obstructed, causing the fluid to accumulate. The CSF obtained during a lumbar puncture is analyzed to detect disease.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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