Peritoneal Fluid Analysis


Ascites fluid analysis.

To evaluate and classify the type of fluid within the peritoneal cavity to assist with diagnosis of cancer, infection, necrosis, and perforation.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, or activity restrictions unless by medical direction. Regarding the patient’s risk for bleeding, the patient should be instructed to avoid taking natural products and medications with known anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or thrombolytic properties or to reduce dosage, as ordered, prior to the procedure. Number of days to withhold medication is dependent on the type of anticoagulant. Note the last time and dose of medication taken.

Normal Findings
Method: Spectrophotometry for glucose, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase; automated or manual cell count, macroscopic examination of cultured organisms, and microscopic examination of specimen for microbiology and cytology; microscopic examination of cultured microorganisms.

Peritoneal FluidReference Value
ColorPale yellow
AmylaseParallels serum values
Alkaline phosphataseParallels serum values
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)Parallels serum values
GlucoseParallels serum values
Red blood cell (RBC) countNone seen
White blood cell (WBC) countLess than 300 cells/microL
CultureNo growth
Acid-fast stainNo organisms seen
Gram stainNo organisms seen
CytologyNo abnormal cells seen

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

  • Positive culture findings in any sterile body fluid.

Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

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