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Diagnostic Tests

Fluid Analysis Microscopy Pericardial Fluid

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Fluid Analysis Microscopy Pericardial Fluid

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What is this test?

Fluid Analysis Microscopy Pericardial Fluid Test is used to detect the cause of build-up of pericardial fluid (a fluid made in the pericardium). This test helps to differentiate between two types of fluids transudates and exudates.

What is Pericardial Fluid?

The pericardium is a double-layered protective membrane that surrounds the heart. This membrane produces pericardial fluid which acts as a lubricant for the heart movements. It also reduces the friction of the heart while pumping blood. The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the pericardium can cause pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium).

An infection, injury or inflammation of the pericardium may cause accumulation of fluid in it. The fluid that builds up, in this case, is known as an exudate. Conditions like autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (pain and swelling of joints), or lupus, infections, metastatic cancer (cancer that spread from one site to another), and lymphoma (a blood cancer that affects white blood cell) can cause this type of fluid. Exudates are cloudy fluid with increased levels of protein and cell count.

The pressure imbalance within the blood vessels results in fluid leakage from blood vessels. The fluid that builds up, in this case, is known as a transudate. Conditions such as congestive heart failure, or liver cirrhosis can cause this type of fluid. Transudates are clear fluid with decreased levels of protein and cell count.

This test helps to determine the type of pericardial fluid that has to build up in the pericardium. It is important to identify the possible causes of fluid accumulation and inflammation of the pericardium.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to diagnose the conditions or diseases that can cause fluid accumulation in the pericardium and/ or pericarditis (swelling of the membrane surrounding the heart). Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of pericarditis such as chills, fever, chest pain, changes in heart rhythm, enlarged heart, shortness of breath, cough, muscle pains, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, etc. However, if an infection is suspected a few more additional tests may also be performed to find the exact cause of the infection.

Also known as Fluid Routine Examination Microscopy Pericardial Fluid.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fluid Analysis Microscopy Pericardial Fluid. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fluid Analysis Microscopy Pericardial Fluid.

No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test results detect the type of fluid as exudate it may indicate injury or inflammation of the pericardium. Conditions that may cause exudates are infections, trauma (injury), autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (pain and swelling of joints), or lupus, metastatic cancer (cancer that spread from one site to another), and lymphoma (a blood cancer that affects white blood cell), etc. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results to diagnose the exact cause of the condition.

If the test results detect the type of fluid as transudate it may indicate conditions such as congestive heart failure, or liver cirrhosis can cause this type of fluid.

If you get abnormal test results, consult with your doctor immediately. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsClear to pale yellow
UNISEXAll age groupsApproximate whole blood levels
UNISEXAll age groupsLower than whole blood levels
UNISEXAll age groups< 500 leukocytes/mucrolitre
UNISEXAll age groupsCell type depends on the condition
UNISEXAll age groups< 50% of usual body protein values
UNISEXAll age groups> 50% of usual body protein values
UNISEXAll age groups< 60% of usual body protein values
UNISEXAll age groups> 60% of usual body protein values
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