Xanthochromia Definiton, Test, Guidelines, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Human brain is called control center of the body. As a matter of fact, this control center is surrounding by a protection layer of bone known as skull. This skull keeps the brain in protection from jerks in case of any accident. On the other hand, the brain is not fixed with the skull. It is floating in a liquid which maintains the positioning as well as structure of outermost cells in the brain.This is simple condition in which the fluid gets mixing of blood. As a matter of fact, it is clear that Xanthochromia is a crystal clear fluid which has not color. However, it becomes reddish or in some cases yellowish because of the blood leaking from any part of brain.

The term “Xanthochromia” is a Greek word. It is a composition of two Greek words Xanthos which means “Yellow” and Chroma which means “Color.” This name was given to the fluid because of yellowish appearance. The cerebrospinal fluid is colorless but it starts to get redness several hours after bleeding inside the brain. Today, Xanthochromia is a main characteristic diagnostic method for the neuroscientists. Experts are using this technique to identify the presence of problems inside the brain. It is important to understand the physiology of Xanthochromia in order to get more information about its role in medical science.

This fluid is also called Cerebrospinal Fluid which is used to fill the space around pia mater and arachnoid membrane. Normally, it is believed that this fluid is important for the Subarachnoid Space. This fluid remains clear as well as colorless in normal condition. The fluid starts to get color whenever there is leaking of blood around the Subarachnoid Space.

Xanthochromia Definiton, Test, Guidelines, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Xanthochromia Guidelines


Actually, this fluid has a main role in the diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Diagnosing this disorder is impossible without using the fluid present in this cavity. No doubt, modern day science has developed another method to detect the presence of this hemorrhage but it is believed that it is a limited option. As a matter of fact, the modern techniques can be utilized within the four hours after seeing symptoms. Unfortunately, the medical techniques are not able to detect the symptoms of hemorrhage within four hours. This part is normally completed outside the hospitals.

According to the neurologists, it is essential to use a technique known as spinal tap to detect the hemorrhage. This technique enables the doctors to get fluid from the inside by using a small cut in the skull. Using this technique is more useful as compared to other options. As a matter of fact, this technique can be used any time without considering the timing. There is no need to see the onset or origin of the hemorrhage. Further studies are being done by the experts to utilize xanthochromia in an improved version to make true diagnosis as soon as possible.

Xanthochromia Symptoms

Physically, there are no obvious symptoms of xanthochromia like othere diseases because clinically it is not a disease itself but it may indicates some underlying abnormalities. It can be only be observed through electron microscope right after 6-12 hrs of subarachnoid hemorrhage. It is often found as pink to yellowish tint in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Xanthochromia Causes


Detection of xanthochromia in cerebrospinal fluid is very important finding to rule out cerebro-spinal abnormalities. It may indicates following possible causes
  • Oxyhemoglobin due to break down of RBC's.  
  • Bilirubin in patients with jaundice or elevated ALT and AST.
  • Elevated cerebrospinal protein levels above 150 mg / dL
  • Bloody traumatic taps
  • Complete spinal blockade
  • Spinal stenosis
  •  Polyneuritis
  •  Meningitis
  • Carotenoids in people with excessive vitamin A in serum.
  • Meningial metastatic melanoma.
  • Other pathological conditions.

 Xanthochromia Treatment

Xanthochromia does not require any treatment itself because it is just and an indication to some underlying abnormality in cerebral area. However, it is important to rule out the possible cause of xanthochromia because traces of red blood cells in the cerebrospinal fluid is not a good thing at all and may reflects some kind of  hemorrhage in sub arachnoid layers or meninges.
Xanthochromia Definiton, Test, Guidelines, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Xanthochromia Definiton, Test, Guidelines, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on February 06, 2017 Rating: 5

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