Pericardial fluid Gram stain

What is Pericardial Fluid Gram Stain?

Pericardial fluid gram stain is a laboratory test used to examine a sample of fluid collected from the sac around the heart. This fluid is also referred to as pericardial effusion. The test is used to detect any bacteria present in the sample. Gram staining is a technique used to classify different types of bacteria based on the type of cell wall.


To perform pericardial fluid gram stain, a sample of the pericardial fluid is collected. The sample is then prepared for staining by heating and filtering it in order to remove any debris and other particles. The sample is then placed on a slide and prepared for staining.


The gram staining procedure begins by using a stain called crystal violet, which is used to color the bacterial cell walls. The sample is then rinsed with a decolorizer, which removes the violet color from some of the bacteria. The sample is then rinsed with a safranin counterstain, which colors the bacteria that were not decolorized. The results of the stain can then be viewed and compared against a reference chart.


Gram staining is used to identify and classify bacteria based on the texture and color of their cell walls. Bacteria can be classified as Gram-positive or Gram-negative based on the results of the stain. Gram-positive bacteria tend to appear purple under the microscope and gram-negative bacteria tend to appear pink.


The gram staining procedure is generally considered a low risk procedure. The only risk associated with the procedure is allergic reaction if the stain or countersain used contains any allergens.

Why is Pericardial Fluid Gram Stain Important?

Gram staining of pericardial fluid can help identify the presence of bacteria that invasion the heart sac, which can lead to infection of the pericardium. Identifying the presence of bacteria can help doctors decide on the most effective course of treatment.

When to Get a Pericardial Fluid Gram Stain?

A pericardial fluid gram stain may be ordered if a doctor suspects the presence of an infection in the pericardium, or if a patient is experiencing chest pain and other symptoms. The results of the test can help diagnose any underlying diseases or infections.