Preferred Sample Type

Asialotransferrin (TAU protein)- query CSF
200 uL fluid. Requires 4 uL for analysis. (Couple of fresh drips preferable to a larger, older contaminated sample.)

Specimen Transport

First Class Post on wet ice

Store at -20 ºC until ready to post

Sample Processing in Laboratory

no special requirements

Turnaround Time

1 week

Sample Stability

-20 ºC.

Asialotransferrin (TAU protein)- query CSF

General Information

Used to determine the orgin of watery ear or nose discharge, especially following a high risk event such as a head injury. Detection of asialotransferrin in a fluid indicates the presence of CSF, and therefore can be used to diagnose CSF rhinorrhoea or otorrhoea. CSF asialotransferrin is also known as Tau protein but is not related to the family of microtubule-associated Tau proteins found in neuronal tissue. It is an asialylated form of transferrin produced in the cerebral parenchyma by lysosomal hydrolysis of the serum-derived transferrin. Up to 30% of transferrin in lumbar CSF is in the asialylated form.

Patient Preparation



If patient has to store at home while collecting, it is best to freeze the sample.

Reference Range

Provided by reference laboratory


  • EQA Scheme?: No
  • EQA Status:

    No scheme available

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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235