The diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) can be difficult, but the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays have made a considerable impact on its clinical diagnosis. This technique exploits the ability of the misfolded pathological form of prion protein (PrPSc) found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to induce conversion of normal PrP to the misfolded form, which subsequently aggregates. The formation of these aggregates of misfolded PrP is monitored in real time using fluorescent dyes. The current sensitivity of CSF RT-QuIC undertaken at the UK National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit is 92% and the specificity is 100%. The interpretation of the RT-QuIC traces is affected by the presence of raised CSF red and white cells counts and elevated total protein concentrations. We recommend that CSF samples for RT-QuIC analysis are clear and colourless with a white cell count of <10 x10^6/L and have a total protein concentration of <1 g/L.