Peritoneal fluid cultureDefinition:
Peritoneal fluid culture is a laboratory test performed on a sample of peritoneal fluid to detect bacteria or fungi that cause infection (peritonitis ).
Peritoneal fluid is the fluid from the peritoneal cavity, a space between the wall of the abdomen and the organs inside.
Culture - peritoneal fluid
How the test is performed:
The test is performed by abdominal tap (paracentesis), a needle aspiration of the peritoneal cavity. A sample of fluid is sent to the laboratory for Gram stain and culture. The sample is examined regularly for bacterial growth.
How to prepare for the test:
Empty your bladder before your abdominal tap procedure.
How the test will feel:
A small area in your lower abdomen will be cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). You will also receive local anesthesia . You will feel pressure as the needle is inserted. If a large amount of fluid is withdrawn, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Why the test is performed:
The test is done to find out if there is an infection in the peritoneal space.
Peritoneal fluid is a sterile fluid, so normally no bacteria or fungi are present.
What abnormal results mean:
The growth of any microorganism, such as bacteria or fungi, from peritoneal fluid is abnormal and indicates peritonitis.
What the risks are:
There is a small risk of the needle puncturing the bowel, bladder, or a blood vessel in the abdomen. This may result in bowel perforation , bleeding, and infection.
The diagnosis of peritonitis is based on more than just the peritoneal fluid culture (which may be negative even if you have peritonitis).
Garcia-Tsao G. Cirrhosis and its sequelae. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 157.
|Review Date: 10/20/2009|
Reviewed 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.
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