Albuminocytologic Dissociation: What Is It?

This article explains the medical phenomenon called Abuminocytologic dissociation, a condition characterized by an increase in albumin without the increase in lymphocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid. It has been found to be an accompanying phenomenon of neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and it may be used as a potential biomarker for the disease. Keep reading to find out more!
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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What Is Albuminocytologic Dissociation?

Albuminocytologic dissociation (ACD) is a medical phenomenon found typically in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients.

We observe an increased protein level, in particular albumin, however with the absence of an elevated white cell count.

For instance, ACD is found in patients with Guilain-Barre syndrome. In a study of 1 231 patients with this syndrome, 70% showed ACD in their cerebrospinal fluid examination. Interestingly the presence of ACD was increasing over time [1].

However, ACD is not exclusively observed in Guilain-Barre syndrome. In fact, it can also be present in conditions like spondylodiscitis (an infection of the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs) or even in neurological conditions in dogs (eg. brain tumors, or brain vascular disease) [2, 3].

What Causes Albuminocytologic Dissociation?

ACD is usually an accompanying physiological change within the body of an individual with a certain condition, not a medical condition or a disease by itself.

Such a condition can be present in the Guillain-Barre syndrome, but also others, including chronic inflammatory neuropathies [4].

Albuminocytologic dissociation is often observed in diseases that alter the blood-brain barrier, increase the production of protein, or block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.