Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Am J Med. 2005 Jun;118(6):636-40.

The composition of normal pericardial fluid and its implications for diagnosing pericardial effusions.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine F, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Hashomer, Israel. sben-horin@013.net.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pericardial fluid obtained at pericardiocentesis is often subjected to biochemical and hematological analysis, and interpreted using criteria borrowed from pleural effusions. However, the validity and diagnostic yield of this approach is uncertain. Moreover, there is little data regarding the normal composition of the physiological pericardial fluid, which could serve as a reference for pathological effusions.

METHODS:

Pericardial fluid from 30 patients undergoing elective open heart surgery was collected. Patients were excluded if they had known pericardial disease, had systemic disorders known to be associated with pericardial disease, or if the fluid samples were hemolytic. The biochemical and hematological parameters of the fluid were determined using standard laboratory techniques, and compared with the results obtained for concurrently drawn venous blood.

RESULTS:

The median age of the study population was 64.5 +/- 10.6 years. Chemistry results of soluble molecules were consistent with the plasma ultrafiltrate nature of the fluid. However, fluid lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level was unexpectedly high, averaging 2.4 times the serum level, and the mean protein level was 0.6 of the serum level. No correlation was found between comorbidities of patients and fluid characteristics. Fluids contained an average of 1430 leukocytes/muL, with a differential count that was predominated by lymphocytes (53.2 +/- 14%) and monocytes (11.6 +/- 6%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The composition of the physiologic pericardial fluid is remarkable for high LDH and protein content, and for predominance of lymphocytes. Thus, the biochemical criteria useful for diagnosing pleural effusions are probably not applicable for differentiating transudative from exudative pericardial effusions, and lymphocytosis should be interpreted cautiously.

PMID:
15922695
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk