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Practo

Diagnostic Tests

Protein Total Pleural Fluid

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Protein Total Pleural Fluid

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What is this test?

Protein Total Pleural Fluid Test is used to measure total protein in the pleural fluid (a fluid found in the pleural membranes). This test helps to differentiate between two types of fluids transudates and exudates.

What is Pleural Fluid?

The pleural membranes are layers that cover the chest cavity and the outside of each lung. Pleural fluid is a liquid found in layers of pleural membranes. It is present in small quantities and acts as a lubricant for the lung movements. The condition of excess accumulation of this fluid in the pleural membranes (pleural effusion) can cause pleuritis (swelling of the pleural membranes).

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 such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, metastatic cancer (cancer that spread from one site to another), lung cancer, 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 fluid present based on the protein levels. It is important to identify the possible causes of fluid accumulation and inflammation of the pleural membranes.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to diagnose the conditions or diseases that can cause fluid accumulation in the pleural membranes and/ or pleuritis (swelling of the pleural membranes). Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of pleuritis such as fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, etc. However, if an infection is suspected a few more additional tests may also be performed to find the exact cause of the infection.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Protein Total Pleural Fluid. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Protein Total Pleural 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 show high levels of proteins than the normal range in the fluid, it may indicate that the type of fluid is exudate. Conditions that may cause exudates are autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (pain and swelling of joints), or lupus, infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, metastatic cancer (cancer that spread from one site to another), lung cancer, 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 show low levels of proteins than the normal range in the fluid, it may indicate that the type of fluid is transudate. 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 groupsThe normal values are reported by the pathologist
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