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Pleural Fluid

Code              Description


The pleural fluid contains (describe the fractions seen) in proportions (%) similar to  the serum pattern except for (albumin at  ______%. Total protein concentration is ___(reference, ___g/dL). The protein pattern, composition, and level  are consistent with that of a/an (transudate; exudate).

The following  information  is a guide when for the interpretation of Pleural Fluid electrophoresis.

Transudate:  protein <3 g/dL
Exudate: protein >3 /dL

These cut-off values for protein  must be correlated with other clinical and laboratory  findings and should not be used alone to decide if a fluid is an exudate or a transudate.

Pleural Fluid Laboratory Criteria for Exudates  (ref. JB Henry. Clinical Diagnosis and Laboratory Management by Laboratory Methods, 20th edition. Table 19-16)

Ratio     Pleural fluid protein /serum protein  >0.5
Ratio     Pleural fluid LD/serum LD  >0.6
Pleural fluid LD >(2/3) upper limit of normal serum LD
Pleural fluid cholesterol >45 mg/dL
Ratio     Pleural fluid chol./serum chol. >0.3
Ratio     Pleural fluid/serum bilirubin >0.6
Albumin  gradient* < 1.2 g/dL

* gradient= serum albumin minus Pl. Fluid albumin.

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Last modified: 03/05/06