Test Overview
Test Methodology


Test Usage

Aid in the diagnosis of neurosyphilis. The VDRL on spinal fluid gives a high percentage of false negatives. The VDRL-CSF should be performed only when the patient's SERUM treponemal test (FTA-ABS) result is reactive.

Reference Range *

Negative. Positive results will be titered.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Analytic Time

1 - 3 days

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Syphilis Screening (VDRL), CSF (Sendout)
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid, VDRL
  • Serologic Test for Syphilis, CSF
  • Spinal Fluid VDRL
  • VDRL-C
  • Rapid Plasma Reagin Equivalent, CSF
  • Syphilis Antibody Screen, CSF
  • RPR Equivalent, CSF
  • Treponema pallidum Antibody Screen, CSF
  • VDSF
Reference Laboratory
Mayo VDSF (9028)
Special Testing
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and freeze.

Normal Volume
0.5 mL CSF
Minimum Volume
0.2 mL CSF
Additional Information

Test sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories. If the screen is positive, a VDRL Titer (Mayo VDSFQ) will be performed at an additional charge. By ordering this test the clinician acknowledges that additional reflex testing will be performed and billed at a separate additional charge if indicated. A reactive CSF-VDRL, free of blood or other contamination almost always indicates past or present CNS syphilis. A biological false positive CSF-VDRL test result for syphilis is rare. The CSF-VDRL syphilis test is not an appropriate screening test because, although specific, it is not sensitive. A negative result can also occur in some neurosyphilis patients, so the test cannot be used to rule out neurosyphilis. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that the CSF-VDRL be performed ONLY when a patient has a seropositive treponemal test (reactive serum FTA-ABS). CSF FTA-ABS testing is not recommended by the CDC, but may be used to rule out neurosyphilis if the CSF FTA-ABS is reported as nonreactive.

CPT Code
Fee Code
Reflex CPT