Peritoneal fluid analysis is a laboratory test to examine fluid that has collected in the area of the abdomen that contains the gastrointestinal organs. This area is called the peritoneal space.
The sample of fluid is removed from the peritoneal space using a needle and syringe.
Your health care provider will clean and numb a small area of your belly area (abdomen). Next, your health care provider will insert a needle through the skin of your abdomen into the peritoneal space, and pull out a sample of fluid. The fluid collects into a tube (syringe) attached to the end of the needle.
See: Abdominal tap
The fluid is sent to a laboratory where it is examined. Tests will be done on the fluid to measure:
Tests will also check for bacteria and other types of infection.
Sometimes, the following tests are also done:
Let your health care provider know if you:
You may feel a stinging sensation from the numbing medicine, or pressure as the needle is inserted.
If a large amount of fluid is taken out, you may feel dizzy or light-headed. Tell the health care provider if you feel dizzy.
The test is done to:
Other abnormal test results may be due to a problem in the intestines or organs of the abdomen. Large differences between the amount of albumin in the peritoneal fluid and in your blood may point to heart, liver, or kidney failure. Small differences may be a sign of cancer or infection.
Garcia-Tsao G. Cirrhosis and its sequelae. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 157.
Runyon BA. Ascites and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 91.
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