Austin Pathology

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Autoimmune Encephalitis (CSF)

Alternate Names
Test Code
Testing Laboratory
Referred Laboratory
Specimen Type


Container Type

Sterile CSF Tube

Medicare Rebate

No - please complete Patient Financial Consent Form.pdf

Out of Pocket Costs

Please note: Some tests are not Medicare rebatable and patients may be charged. Please contact Pathology Queensland for current pricing (07 3646 5811)

Ordering Information

Ordering this test results in ordering all Autoimmune Encephalitis antibodies, which are NMDA, GABA, AMPA, LGi1, CASPR2 antibodies.

For specific antibodies, please refer to the pages below: 

If VGKC antibody is requested on a CSF sample this will result in LGi1 and CASPR2 antibodies being ordered. 

Note: This test is performed on CSF, but requires a serum specimen to be collected at the same time. It is preferable to test both sample types to optimise sensitivity.

Collection Instructions

CSF samples should be sent to the laboratory immediately.Ensure all caps are screwed on correctly to avoid leakage & sterility. 

Transport Instructions
Transport ambient at room temperature
Storage Instructions
Store refrigerated at 4°C
Testing Frequency
As Required
Min Test Volume
Add On Test Suitability
Refrigerated (2-4°C) up to 3 months*
Frozen (-20°C) up to 3 months*

*Subject to sample availability

Container ID
CSR Instructions

Instructions for: Metropolitan and Regional Specimen Receptions

  • If VGKC Antibody is ordered on a CSF sample, please code for LGI1 and CASPR2

Instructions for: Regional Specimen Receptions

  • Forward sample to Heidelberg laboratory at 4°C. 

Instructions for: Heidelberg Specimen Reception

  • If only a CSF specimen is received, organise an additional serum collection. 
Laboratory Instructions

Instructions for: Metropolitan & Regional Specimen Receptions 

CSF samples should be handled urgently. 

Where there are multiple tubes from a lumbar puncture: 

  • Tube 3 is for Microbiology and 1, 2 for Biochemistry, Cytology, etc. (If tube 3 is not available for Microbiology, send tube 2) 
  • If tap is traumatic (blood-stained), 1 and 3 go to Microbiology for cell counts. 

If insufficient tubes are received for the tests requested, please contact the Medical Microbiologist or Registrar (03 9496 5964

External Laboratory
Immunology, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital
Accredited Test