Spectrophotometric examinations were performed on cerebrospinal and subdural fluids in subacute (five patients) and chronic (20 patients) subdural haematomas, with special reference to the diagnostic aid of CSF spectrophotometry. Spectrophotometric xanthochromia of haemorrhagic origin was found in all CSFs examined, while definite visible xanthochromia was observed in only 28% and the CSF was judged as colourless in 52% of those cases. Characteristic bleeding patterns were found spectrophotometrically in all the 20 CSFs examined within 24 hours after lumbar puncture, haematoma patterns being detected in 90-95% of the cases. In many cases the electrophoretically separated protein fractions of CSF and subdural fluids were spectrophotometrically examined. In conclusion, CSF spectrophotometry is a simple, fast, and extremely sensitive method, which in our opinion should be used routinely in the diagnosis of suspected subdural haematomas, if lumbar puncture is not contraindicated.
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