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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1984 Jan 1;184(1):51-5.

Diagnostic value of pericardial fluid analysis in the dog.


The physical, chemical, and cytologic characteristics of 50 pericardial effusions were reviewed to determine their value to the clinician for distinguishing a variety of pericardial disorders in the dog. Pericardial fluid analysis allowed identification of chylous and bacterial pericardial effusions. Overlap in the ranges of RBC counts, nucleated cell counts, and protein concentrations between dogs with neoplastic and nonneoplastic disorders precluded identification of the cause of the effusion. Of 19 neoplastic effusions, 74% were not detected on the basis of cytologic findings and 13% of 31 nonneoplastic effusates were falsely reported as positive or suspect for a neoplasm. It was concluded that pericardial fluid analysis, including cytologic examination, did not reliably distinguish neoplastic from nonneoplastic disorders.

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