Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ms. Mary Stapleton

Second Advisor

Dr. Brendan O'Connell


Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a potentially fatal condition which can be difficult to accurately diagnose. Patients often present with a second bleed which can be more damaging than the initial bleed. Diagnosis of SAH centres on computed tomography (CT) scans. However, 2% of patients positive for SAH will present as negative on CT scans. It is recommended that these patients have lumbar puncture and the CSF is analysed for bilirubin. The presence of bilirubin is suggestive of SAH. Spectrophotometric scanning involves expensive equipment which is often not available in routine settings. A need exists for a robust, inexpensive, automated method for CSF bilirubin measurement.

This project adapted the serum bilirubin method in routine use in Biochemistry Cork University Hospital (CUH ), in order to achieve bilirubin measurement at levels in nmol/l. This level of sensitivity would be required for CSF bilirubin measurement. The adapted method was found to be precise, linear, and sensitive at low levels. The method was compared to the gold-standard spectrophotometric method and found to correlate well. The new method is promising as a screening method to correctly identify:

1) Patients negative for SAH who require no further intervention

2) Patients who may be positive for SAH and should proceed for spectrophotometric scanning.


In part fulfilment of an MSc in Biomedical Science Awarded by CIT/UCC.

Access Level


Included in

Biochemistry Commons