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Postmortem Cerebrospinal Fluid Pleocytosis

Platt Marvin S. M.D.; McClure, Stephen M.D.; Clarke, Raymond M.D.; Spitz, Werner U. M.D.; Cox, William M.D.
The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 1989
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We show that postmortem cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis is a common event. Postmortem cerebrospinal or ventricular fluid was obtained from children and adults. The cells were counted and morphologically characterized using several histochemical markers. Infants exhibit a brisk postmortem CSF pleocytosis. Sudden infant death cases have relatively high CSF counts. Typeable cells are mononuclear and consist of ˜60%-70% lymphocytes and 20%-40% macrophages. When postmortem duration is >12 h, the cells become vacuolated and cannot be identified. The etiology of these findings requires further study

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