The Clinical Use of Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis: The Italian Selfie.
Sancesario GM., Toniolo S., Chiasserini D., Di Santo SG., Zegeer J., Bernardi G., SIBioC-Study Group of Clinical Biochemistry of Biological Fluids other than Blood None., Musicco M., SINdem-ITALPLANED None., Caltagirone C., Parnetti L., Bernardini S.
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.