Peritoneal fluid analysis is a laboratory test to examine fluid that has collected in the area of the abdomen that contains the gastrointestinal organs. This area is called the peritoneal space.
How the test is performed
The sample of fluid is removed from the peritoneal space using a needle and syringe.
Your health care provider will clean and numb a small area of your belly area (abdomen). Next, your health care provider will insert a needle through the skin of your abdomen into the peritoneal space, and pull out a sample of fluid. The fluid collects into a tube (syringe) attached to the end of the needle.
Other abnormal test results may be due to a problem in the intestines or organs of the abdomen. Large differences between the amount of albumin in the peritoneal fluid and in your blood may point to heart, liver, or kidney failure. Small differences may be a sign of cancer or infection.
What the risks are
Damage to the bowel, bladder, or a blood vessel in the abdomen from a needle puncture
Garcia-Tsao G. Cirrhosis and its sequelae. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 157.
Runyon BA. Ascites and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 91.
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.