The Clinical Use of Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis: The Italian Selfie

Giulia M. Sancesario, Sofia Toniolo, Davide Chiasserini, Simona G. Di Santo, Josh Zegeer, Gaetano Bernardi, Massimo Musicco, Carlo Caltagirone, Lucilla Parnetti, Sergio Bernardini, SIBioC-Study Group of Clinical Biochemistry of Biological Fluids other than Blood, SINdem-ITALPLANED

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the use of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid β1-42 (Aβ42), tau (T-tau), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau181) gives added diagnostic and prognostic values, the diffusion is still limited in clinical practice and only a restricted number of patients receive an integrated clinico-biological diagnosis. By a survey, we aimed to do a "selfie" of the use and diffusion of CSF biomarkers of dementia in Italy, the standardization of pre-analytical procedures, the harmonization of ranges, and the participation to Quality Control programs. An online questionnaire was sent to the members of SIBioC and SINdem-ITALPLANED and to main neurological clinics all over Italy. In Italy, 25 laboratories provide biomarkers analysis in addition to a network of 15 neighboring hospitals. In sum, 40 neurological centers require CSF analyses. 7/20 regions (35) lack CSF laboratories. Standardization of pre-analytical procedures is present in 62.02 of the laboratories; only 56.00 of the laboratories participate in International Quality Control. There is no harmonization of cut-offs. In Italy, the use of CSF biomarkers is still limited in clinical practice. Standardization and harmonization of normal ranges are needed. To optimize and expand the use of CSF biomarkers, a cost-benefit analysis should be promoted by scientific societies and national health services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1666
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 20 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease diagnosis
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • neurodegenerative biomarkers
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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