Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is clear, colourless liquid that is found in the surrounding tissues of the brain and spinal cord of all vertebrates. It is produced from the choroid plexus cells in the ventricles of the brain. It acts as a cushion that absorbs shock, preventing damage to the brain and spinal cord.
It consists of sodium, chloride, magnesium, glucose, proteins, uric acid and amino acids. At any given time, there is approximately 140ml of CSF around the spinal cord and in the ventricles. A total of 500ml is produced in a single day.
CSF samples are taken in a procedure called lumbar puncture. Analysis of the fluid can tell the intracranial pressure or any brain infections, if present. The cerebrospinal fluid maintains the homeostasis of the brain, and also helps in removing waste products from the brain.
CSF leak is common due to reasons such as physical trauma and incorrect lumbar puncture. It causes low intracranial pressure that can lead to headaches. CT scan and MRI is done to detect the leak. The condition can be rectified by fibrin glue or spinal surgery.
Mucus is a slippery, viscous fluid that is secreted at multiple locations by the goblet cells in the mucous gland. It is composed of inorganic salts, glycoproteins, antimicrobial enzymes and immunoglobulins.
The production of mucus in the mouth helps to keep the oral membranes moist and also lubricates the food. In the nose, mucus helps to trap bacteria and other dust particles. The digestive tract has the largest number of mucous cells. In the stomach, the mucus lining protects the organs from acidic gastric juice.
CSF vs. Mucus
|Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a colourless liquid that is present between the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord.||Mucus is a viscous, slippery fluid that is secreted from the mucous glands.|
|It is produced from the choroid plexus in the brain ventricle.||It is produced by the goblet cells in the mucous gland.|
|It is composed of inorganic salts, amino acids, and little amounts of proteins and uric acid.||It is composed of inorganic salts, antimicrobial enzymes, immunoglobulins, and glycoproteins.|
|It acts as a cushion against physical trauma to the brain and spinal cord.||It forms a lining in the nose to trap bacteria, in the mouth for lubrication, and in the stomach to protect the organs from gastric juice.|
|500ml CSF is produced everyday.||The digestive tract has the highest concentration of mucus.|
|The CSF leaks from the dura from physical trauma or incorrect lumbar puncture.||A mucus leak is very rare.|
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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between CSF and Mucus
How can you tell the difference between mucus and CSF?
Mucus is sticky and viscous in nature, whereas CSF is watery and a clear liquid.
How do you know if your brain fluid is leaking?
The most striking symptom of CSF leakage is headache, mostly at the back of your head.
Can the brain fluid leak through your nose?
Yes, the brain fluid can leak through your nose as well as your ears.