Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Peritoneal fluid: cytology

Contributor(s): Kathleen P Freeman

Overview

  • Peritoneal fluid occurs within the abdominal/peritoneal cavity. Very little or no fluid can be aspirated unless effusion is present.
  • Normal fluid is clear and colorless to slightly yellow and is of low cellularity (<1000 nucleated cells/ml) and protein (<2.5 g/dl).
  • Four mechanisms result in cavity effusions:
    • Transudate - low specific gravity fluid crosses membrane barrier.
    • Exudate - inflammation allows fluid with high cellular and rpotein component to cross vessel walls.
    • Vessel or viscous rupture.
    • Neoplastic proliferation.
  • Cell characteristics vary in septic conditions and with neoplasia.
  • Cytology enables finer differentiation of type of abdominal effusion Effusion: overview.

Sampling

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Tests

Methodologies

  • Centrifuge fluid at 1000 rpm for 10 min.
  • Pour off supernatant and resuspend sediment by flicking tube.
  • Put drop onto slide and make smear as for blood smear.
  • Or use cytospin centrifuge..
  • Air dry slide.
  • Giemsa smear.

Availability

  • Widely available at commerical laboratories.
  • Smears can be examined in practice.

Validity

Sensitivity

  • As with any cytologic specimen absence of evidence does not provide conclusive support for absence of a particular condition.

Specificity

  • As with any cytologic specimen absence of evidence does not provide conclusive support for absence of a particular condition.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Cytologic evaluation may be compromised by excessive blood contamination.

Technician (extrinsic) limitations

  • May be difficult to differentiate mesothelial cells from some neoplastic cells (send for expert analysis).

Result Data

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Dunn J K & Villiers E (1998) Cytological and biochemical assesment of pleural and peritoneal effusions. In Pract 20, 501-505.
  • Steyn P F & Wittum T E (1993) Radiographic epidemiologic and clinical aspects of simultaneous pleural and peritoneal effusions in dogs and cats - 48 cases (1982-1991). JAAHA 202, 307-312.
  • Wadle J R & Giger U (1990) Lipoprotein electrophoresis differentiation of chylous and nonchylous pleural effusions in dogs and cats and its correlation with pleural effusion triglycerole concentration. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 10, 121-136.
  • Meyer D J & Franks P T (1987) Effusion - classification and cytologic examination. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 9, 123-128.

Other sources of information

  • Cowell R L, Tyler R D & Meinkoth J H (1999) Diagnostic Cytology and Hematology of the Dog and Cat. 2nd edn. St. Louis: Mosby.
  • Duncan J R, Prasse K W & Mahaffey E A (1994) Veterinary Laboratory Medicine. Clinical Pathology. 3rd edn. Iowa: Iowa University Press.
  • Cowell R L, Tyler R D & Meinkoth J H (1989) Abdominal and thoracic fluid. In: Diagnostic Cytology of the Dog and Cat.1st edn. American Veterinary Publications Ltd. pp 151-166.


ADDED