Nasal Fluid for Beta 2 Transferrin Assay


The top of the nose and several of the sinuses (frontal, ethmoid and sphenoid) are adjacent to parts of the brain cavity. Defects in the brain covering (dura) may result in the escape of brain fluid (CSF) into the sinuses and/or nasal cavity. The liquid is transparent and very thin like water, but can still be difficult to distinguish from clear profuse watery serous nasal secretions. Untreated CSF rhinorrhoea may result in the serious complication of meningitis, so early surgery to repair any defect is essential.


Brain fluid will always drip from the front of the nose when the person leans forwards. A couple of drops of this nasal fluid is collected in a sterile container and stored in a refrigerator. This is a very specialised test which is only undertaken in very few laboratories. Our samples are sent to the Department of Neuro-immunology at The National Hospital, Queen Square, where one of our Clinic team collaborated with this unit 20 years ago to develop this important diagnostic tool.