Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests

Pleural Fluid Analysis

Pleural Fluid Analysis is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Thoracentesis fluid analysis.

Common Use:
To assess and categorize fluid obtained from within the pleural space for infection, cancer, and blood as well as identify the cause of its accumulation.

Pleural fluid collected in a green-top (heparin) tube for amylase, cholesterol, glucose, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), pH, protein, and triglycerides; lavender-top (EDTA) tube for cell count; sterile containers for microbiology specimens; of fluid in a clear container with anticoagulant for cytology. Ensure that there is an equal amount of fixative and fluid in the container for cytology.

Normal Findings:
(Method: Spectrophotometry for amylase, cholesterol, glucose, LDH, protein, and triglycerides; ion-selective electrode for pH; automated or manual cell count; macroscopic and microscopic examination of cultured microorganisms; microscopic examination of specimen for microbiology and cytology)

ColorPale yellow
AmylaseParallels serum values
CholesterolParallels serum values
CEAParallels serum values
GlucoseParallels serum values
LDHLess than 200 units/L
Fluid LDH-to-serum LDH ratio0.6 or less
Protein3 g/dL
Fluid protein-to-serum protein ratio0.5 or less
TriglyceridesParallel serum values
RBC countNone seen
WBC countLess than 1,000 cells/microL
CultureNo growth
Gram stainNo organisms seen
CytologyNo abnormal cells seen
CEA = carcinoembryonic antigen; LDH = lactate dehydrogenase; RBC = red blood cell; WBC = white blood cell.

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