CSF myelin basic protein is a test to measure the level of myelin basic protein (MBP) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF is the clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
MBP is found in the material that covers many of your nerves.
A sample of spinal fluid is needed. This is done using a lumbar puncture.
This test is done to see if myelin is breaking down. Multiple sclerosis is the most common cause for this, but other causes may include:
In general there should be less than 4 ng/mL of myelin basic protein in the CSF.
Note: ng/mL = nanogram per milliliter
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
If the myelin basic protein level is greater than 9 ng/mL, myelin is actively breaking down.
Houtchens MK, Lublin FD, Miller AE, et al. Multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 54.
Greene, DN, Schmidt, RL, Wilson, AR, et al. Cerebrospinal Fluid Myelin Basic Protein Is Frequently Ordered but Has Little Value. Am J Clin Pathol. 2012:138:262-272
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, FRCS (C), FACS, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles CA; Department of Surgery at Los Robles Hospital, Thousand Oaks CA; Department of Surgery at Ashland Community Hospital, Ashland OR; Department of Surgery at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Cheyenne WY; Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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