Laboratory Services

Beta-2 Transferrin: Detection of Spinal Fluid in Other Body Fluid

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Beta-2 Transferrin: Detection of Spinal Fluid in Other Body Fluid

B2 Transferrin; Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage; CSF Specific Transferrin; Otorrhea, Spinal Fluid; Rhinorrhea, Spinal Fluid; Tau Protein; Transferrin B2; Transferrin, Spinal Fluid

Test ID
General Information

Useful for detection of spinal fluid in body fluids, such as ear or nasal fluid

Specimen Type

Body Fluid

Specimen Requirements

  • Preferred: Sterile container, syringe, test tube, or microtube

  • Acceptable: Plain cotton swab or gauze

Specimen Collection / Processing Instructions

  • If submitting a syringe, remove needle. Add cap to end of syringe

  • If direct collection is not feasible, specimen may be collected using a plain cotton swab or gauze

  • If gauze is used to collect specimen, circle area on the gauze where specimen was collected

  • Place cotton swab or gauze in as small a container as possible (eg, plain test tube or collection container)

  • Do not collect specimen with a culture swab

  • Do not add any liquid to the swab or gauze.

Additional Processing Details

  • If specimens are collected from multiple sites on the body (ie, left and right), each specimen must be sent under a separate order.

  • Samples collected from above the shoulders risk salivary contamination, which can degrade the beta-2 transferrin protein. These samples should be frozen immediately following collection and kept frozen until testing is performed

  • Although results may be obtainable on smaller specimens (perhaps as little as 0.05 mL, depending on the protein concentrations and percentage of spinal fluid in the specimen), reliable results are best obtained with an adequate specimen volume.

Required Information

  • Indicate specimen source

  • Include whether the source is from the right or left side of the body, if applicable


  • Frozen (preferred): Not Given

  • Ambient: Not Given

  • Refrigerated: Not Given

Unacceptable Specimen Conditions

Samples collected with additives such as microbiology media (eg, Stuart or Amies liquid medium) or TransFix/EDTA (used for analyses in flow cytometry) yield uninterpretable results and will be rejected.


  • Beta-2 transferrin is also found in aqueous humor and in serum of patients with rare metabolic glycoprotein disorders or genetic variants of transferrin

  • Samples stored in storage tubes with TransFix/EDTA (used for analyses in flow cytometry) are not acceptable. The contact of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with the stabilization solution contained in these tubes changes the migration and the result is not interpretable



Estimated TAT

1-3 days

Testing Schedule



14 days

CPT Code(s)


Additional Information
Minimum Sample Volume

0.5 mL

Reference Range

Negative, no beta-2 transferrin (spinal fluid) detected

Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)