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VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) is the only nontreponemal test available with an antigen that can be diluted to the appropriate concentration for detecting antibodies in the spinal fluid. VDRL testing on CSF for the diagnosis of neurosyphilis is highly specific (99.8%), but has low sensitivity (50%), therefore a reactive CSF VDRL is diagnostic, but a non-reactive result does not rule out neurosyphilis. FTA-ABS can also be performed on CSF, and has 100% sensitivity, but lower specificity than VDRL (94%).


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