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Eur J Clin Invest. 1997 May;27(5):392-7.

Carbonic anhydrase II in the cerebrospinal fluid: its value as a disease marker.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Oulu, Finland.


Carbonic anhydrase (CA) II is the predominant CA isoenzyme in the brain of mammals. We have recently developed a dual-label time-resolved immunofluorometric assay to quantify minute amounts of CA I and II in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The present study was aimed at elucidating the clinical value of such measurements in the case of neurological disorders. Lumbar CSF samples were obtained from 111 patients suffering from various neurological diseases and from 97 control patients with no specific signs of central nervous system diseases. The highest CA II concentrations were found in patients with brain infarction (median 66.5 micrograms L-1, n = 20), whereas the control patients had markedly lower values (median 7.8 micrograms L-1, n = 97). Relative to a reference range calculated from the control material (10.2 +/- 17.2 micrograms L-1), the sensitivity of CA II measurement in differentiating brain infarction was 100%. Patients with transient ischaemic attack (median 11.2 micrograms L-1, n = 9), multiple sclerosis (median 14.7 micrograms L-1, n = 18) or epilepsy (median 20.3 micrograms L-1, n = 17) usually had CA II concentrations within the normal range, but those with central nervous system infection (n = 14), dementia (n = 19) or trigeminal neuralgia (n = 6) tended to have higher CA II levels in their CSF, the median values being 39.1 micrograms L-1, 45.5 micrograms L-1 and 44.0 micrograms L-1 respectively. The findings indicate that the concentration of CA II in the CSF marks disease activity in patients with brain damage. This finding could provide a basis for further studies estimating the value of CA II measurement as a new laboratory marker of diseases affecting the brain.

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