This laboratory test is performed on an ascitic fluid sample to analyze the levels of albumin and lactate dehydrogenase. This test helps in determining whether the ascitic fluid is transudate or exudate.
Why is this test performed?
This test is performed to help in differentiating the ascitic fluid into exudate or transudate. Once the ascitic fluid is differentiated, further testing is required to find the exact cause of fluid accumulation in the peritoneal cavity.
Paracentesis: In this process, a little area on your abdomen is cleaned and numbed to remove ascitic fluid from the peritoneal cavity with a needle.
The sample is collected in a container and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
What are the risks of this test?
Damage to vessels and bladder from needle
Low blood pressure.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparations are required for this test. Inform your doctor about your complete medical history especially of pregnancy, allergy, and bleeding problems.
Is the procedure painful?
No, a numbing medicine is used to make it a painless procedure. However, pressure is felt from the needle.
What is ascites?
Ascites is the abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen, usually due to a liver disease. It has the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath
What is Paracentesis?
Paracentesis is a procedure to remove ascitic fluid from the abdominal cavity with the help of a needle. It is used for ascitic fluid analysis and removal of excess peritoneal fluid.
Interpretation of test results:
Albumin: Lower than exudate
Serum-ascites albumin gradient: Above 1.1 g/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase serum to fluid ratio: Less than 0.6
Albumin: Higher than transudate
Serum-ascites albumin gradient: Below 1.1 g/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase serum to fluid ratio: greater than 0.6
You should get tested if you have the following symptoms: