Pathology Handbook

CSF - Lactate


Clinical Indications

CSF lactate is useful in the investigation of neurological disease in children. CSF lactate may be increased despite a normal plasma lactate in children with defects in the electron transport chain or in the non-ketotic hyperglycinaemia. CSF lactate is also raised in meningitis, tumours of the CNS and after seizures

Request Form 

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On request

Specific Criteria

Only available on paediatric or for neurologists

Turnaround Time

1 week


Collect CSF into a grey fluoride oxalate tube. Also collect a green heparin sample of blood for plasma lactate at the same time (CSF must be collected before the blood).


Minimum 200μl


Grey top fluoride tube for CSF and an additional Green top heparin tube for blood

Lab Handling

Store frozen at -20C immediately. Send frozen by courier to Great Ormond Street Hospital (WC1N 3JH).

Causes for Rejection

See duty Biochemist


CSF Lactate ref. range <2.5 mmol/L