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Practo

Diagnostic Tests

Protein Total Body Fluid

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Protein Total Body Fluid

What is this test?

Protein total body fluid test is used to measure the amount of total protein in the body fluids. This test is used to determine any conditions or diseases that may cause abnormal protein production or loss in the body fluids.

What are the types of body fluids?

Major organs such as the heart, lungs, and abdomen are surrounded by body cavities. These cavities contain a small amount of fluid which acts as a lubricant for the organ movements. Pericardial fluid is a fluid made in the pericardium, a double-layered protective membrane that surrounds the heart. Pleural fluid is a liquid found in layers of pleural membranes that cover the chest cavity and the outside of each lung. Peritoneal fluid is a liquid made in the space in the abdomen around the internal organs.

When production and resorption of these fluids are not balanced it may result in fluid accumulation. This condition results in an effusion. The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the pericardium can cause pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium). The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the pleural membranes (pleural effusion) can cause pleuritis (swelling of the pleural membranes). The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the peritoneum (the membrane lining the abdomen) may cause peritonitis (swelling of the peritoneum).

The effusions may be classified as exudates or transudates. Exudates are cloudy fluid with increased levels of protein and cell count. Conditions such as autoimmune diseases, infections, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), ruptured gallbladder, 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. Transudates are clear fluid with decreased 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, liver cirrhosis or nephrotic syndrome ( a kidney disorder) can cause this type of fluid.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to diagnose the conditions or diseases that can cause fluid accumulation in the pericardium, pleural membranes, and peritoneum. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of abnormal protein levels in the body fluids. However, if an infection is suspected a few more additional tests may also be performed to find the exact cause of the infection.

What do the test results mean?

If the test results show high levels of proteins than the normal range in the body fluid, it may indicate that the type of fluid is exudate. Conditions that may cause exudates are 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), lung cancer, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), ruptured gallbladder, infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, 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 show low levels of proteins than the normal range in the body fluid, it may indicate that the type of fluid is transudate. Conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or nephrotic syndrome (a kidney disorder) 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.

Test Preparation

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

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

Understanding your test results

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe normal values vary based on the type of fluid
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