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    Peritoneal fluid culture

    Culture - peritoneal fluid

    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.

    How the Test is Performed

    A sample of peritoneal fluid is needed. For information on how this is done see: Abdominal tap (paracentesis)

    .A sample of fluid is sent to the laboratory for Gram stain and culture. The sample is checked to see if bacteria grows.

    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 If a large amount of fluid is withdrawn, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.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.

    Normal Results

    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.

    Risks

    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.

    Considerations

    The diagnosis of peritonitis is based on more than just the peritoneal fluid culture (which may be negative even if you have peritonitis).

    References

    Garcia-Tsao G. Cirrhosis and its sequelae.In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds.Cecil Medicine. 24th ed.Philadelphia,PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 156.

    Runyon BA. Ascites and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds.Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed.Philadelphia,Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 91.

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            Tests for Peritoneal fluid culture

            Review Date: 11/9/2011

            Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. 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.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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