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.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2013, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.