Alternative name: Tau protein, asialylated transferrin, beta-2-transferrin, asialotransferrin
Description: The detection of this protein in nasal fluids indicates that the fluid originated from the CNS. Tau protein is sometimes used to describe an asialylated form of transferrin which is present in CSF but absent in serum. The detection of this protein in nasal fluids indicates that the fluid originated from the CNS. Fluid samples usually received after trauma or surgery and may request Tau protein, asialylated transferrin or beta-2-transferrin (which describes the altered electrophoretic mobility of the protein). Requests may be non specific with clinical details such as Rhinorrhoea.
Indication: Requests usually received after trauma or surgery. Confirmation of CSF rhinorrhoea.
Interpretation: Detection of beta-2 transferrin in nasal or aural fluid usually suggests leakage from CNS. However, the variant protein may be found in blood in certain circumstances, e.g when the individual naturally produces certain transferrin types due to genetic variation, or when an individual consumes large amounts of alcohol.
Sample: Red/Plain Tube
Assay details: Results are reported as positive or negative.
Restrictions: Plain Universal. Blood sample (SST) must be examined at the same time as the suspected CSF.
Reference range: Negative/positive
Assay range notes:
Turnaround time: 5 – 7 days
Analysing laboratory: Immunology, The James Cook University Hospital