What Is the Color of Leaking Spinal Fluid?


Quick Answer

The color of leaking spinal fluid is normally clear, explains National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus. Cloudy fluid indicates an infection or a build-up of white blood cells. Red fluid signals bleeding or even a spinal cord obstruction. Brown, orange or yellow fluid can indicate previous bleeding that has stopped.

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Full Answer

Spinal fluid, also known as cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, can leak as a result of spinal taps or spinal surgery, notes National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus. Depending on the cause, many leaks of clear fluid stop on their own, especially following spinal procedures. Leaks that return after treatment can indicate conditions such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, known as water on the brain, notes WebMD.

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