Aims: We investigated the potential of apolipoprotein D (apoD) as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker for cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) after confirmation of its association with CAA pathology in human brain tissue. Methods: The association of apoD with CAA pathology was analysed in human occipital lobe tissue of CAA (n = 9), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 11) and healthy control cases (n = 11). ApoD levels were quantified in an age- and sex-matched CSF cohort of CAA patients (n = 31), AD patients (n = 27) and non-neurological controls (n = 67). The effects of confounding factors (age, sex, serum levels) on apoD levels were studied using CSF of non-neurological controls (age range 16–85 years), and paired CSF and serum samples. Results: ApoD was strongly associated with amyloid deposits in vessels, but not with parenchymal plaques in human brain tissue. CSF apoD levels correlated with age and were higher in men than women in subjects >50 years. The apoD CSF/serum ratio correlated with the albumin ratio. When controlling for confounding factors, CSF apoD levels were significantly lower in CAA patients compared with controls and compared with AD patients (P = 0.0008). Conclusions: Our data show that apoD is specifically associated with CAA pathology and may be a CSF biomarker for CAA, but clinical application is complicated due to dependency on age, sex and blood–CSF barrier integrity. Well-controlled follow-up studies are required to determine whether apoD can be used as reliable biomarker for CAA.