An attempt has been made to study the effect of the lapse of time on the cell count of the cerebrospinal fluid in the preparalytic stage of acute poliomyelitic infection. The study has yielded results that suggest the presence of some cytolytic factor particularly active toward the multilobed cells which has not been described previously. The literature has been reviewed, and an effort has been made to explain why conflicting views have been held regarding the advisability of immediate cell counts in all cases in which lumbar puncture is performed for diagnostic purposes.
Wynn,1 after examining eighty specimens of spinal fluid up to fifteen hours after lumbar puncture, concluded that the cells in clear fluids collected in clean test tubes and tightly stoppered might, in the absence of macroscopic pellicle, sediment or web, and if thoroughly mixed, be safely counted at any time up to fifteen hours. Amoss2