The CSF VDRL test is used in order to detect a disorder called Neurosyphilis. It is also called Venereal Disease Research Laboratory CSF slide test. Neurosyphilis is an infection that is in the brain and also affects the spinal cord. It mostly affects the people who have not undergone treatment for syphilis. CSF VDRL test is executed on a CSF (Cerebral spinal fluid) sample. This sample is obtained by a lumbar puncture. A lumbar puncture is also called a spinal tap. The needle is inserted in the spinal cord and a pressure sample is collected.
Purpose of the Test
This test is usually used to diagnose Neurosyphilis or syphilis in the brain and the spinal cord.
Detection of syphilis in the brain or the spinal cord means detection of syphilis in its later stages. This means Neurosyphilis.
There are other new tests like FTA-ABS which are used to detect syphilis, but CSF-VDRL is the oldest test and the most reliable compared to other tests.
A positive result in this test indicates Neurosyphilis and thus, the practioner would recommend early treatment.
If it is detected at a later stage, it can be treated otherwise, it is considered to be a life threatening form of syphilis. Thus, one needs to take this test.
When to take this test?
Any person with syphilitic needs to take this test to prevent it from aggravating and entering the spinal cord and brain.
This is a blood screening test and this test is the most appropriate and the most effective test during the secondary or middle stage of syphilis.
If any person shows symptoms of syphilis along with the following symptoms, he needs to take this test:
Seizures, Tremors and spinal cord ache.
Headache, weakness and weak eyesight.
Depression and irritation.
Paralysis and loss of motor activity.
Mental instability and lack of concentration.
These symptoms indicate that syphilis has entered the middle stage which means high chances of diagnosing Neurosyphilis.