Peritoneal fluid analysis

What is Peritoneal Fluid Analysis?

Peritoneal fluid analysis is an examination of fluid removed from the peritoneal cavity, the space between the abdominal organs. This procedure is done to diagnose conditions affecting the abdominal organs such as infection, inflammation, or cancer.

Preparation for Peritoneal Fluid Analysis

No special preparation is needed for peritoneal fluid analysis. Your doctor will perform the examination in the hospital or in his/her office.

The Procedure of Peritoneal Fluid Analysis

The procedure begins with a physical examination of the abdomen and a pelvic exam. The doctor will then pass a small needle through the skin and abdominal wall, into the peritoneal cavity, and remove a sample of the fluid. The fluid is then sent to the laboratory for testing.

Types of Peritoneal Fluid Analysis

The types of tests performed on the fluid sample vary depending on the condition being investigated and the individual's symptoms. A few of the tests that may be performed include:
  • Cell count – to determine the number and type of cells present
  • Cytology – to look for abnormal cells such as cancer cells
  • Bacterial culture – to look for infection or inflammation
  • Chemistry tests – to measure glucose or enzyme levels

Risks of Peritoneal Fluid Analysis

Complications from peritoneal fluid analysis are rare, but may occur. These risks include:
  • Infection (from the needle)
  • Bleeding (from the needle)
  • Damage to internal organs (from the needle)
  • Leakage of fluid (from the needle)

Why Peritoneal Fluid Analysis is Done

Peritoneal fluid analysis is done to diagnose or rule out certain conditions that affect the abdominal organs, such as infection, cancer, or inflammation. Results from this test can help guide treatment decisions.

When to Get Peritoneal Fluid Analysis

Your doctor may recommend peritoneal fluid analysis if you have abdominal pain, fever, or other signs or symptoms of a condition that affects the abdominal organs. Your doctor may also do this test if you are being treated for a condition that affects the abdominal organs, to help monitor the progress of the condition.