Histopathology / Cytopathology / Hematopathology / PLA Home Page
Test indication: Any excess amount of fluid, an effusion is always an indication of a pathologic process. Thus the presence of an effusion indicates that the patient has a disease. Laboratory investigation of the effusion fluid including examination of the exfoliated cells may provide the key to the patients diagnosis. Body cavity fluids are commonly evaluated for the presence of malignant cells from metastatic disease. These fluids include pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, synovial and pelvic washing.
Specimen types: Body fluids (Pericardial, Peritoneal, Ascites, and Pleural fluids, Paracentesis, Thoracentesis)
Routine cytopathologic evaluation.
Supplies: Non-sterile specimen
container, test requisition, biohazard bag.
Fixation: Submit fresh sample (no fixative preferred). If delay in transportation to laboratory, refrigerate 4°C (or 39°F) up to 72 hours. The exception is cerebrospinal fluid, which begins to degrade shortly after collection if stored at room temperature or refrigerated. Add 50% ethanol equal to the volume of specimen if transport is delayed or use proprietary transport medium supplied by the manufacturers of liquid based medium systems. Any fixative added should be noted on the requisition.
Transport: Each specimen should be placed in a clearly labeled container that is leak proof. Place specimen in a biohazard transport bag. The paper requisition(s) that accompanies the specimen should be placed in the outside pocket of the biohazard bag to avoid exposure to any leakage.
Causes for rejection: Incomplete patient requisitions, unlabeled/incorrectly labeled specimen, frozen specimen, incorrect test ordered for specimen, specimen in incorrect or expired fixative, specimen from unauthorized person.
Specimen stability: Varies; if some delay is unavoidable (12-24 hours) body fluids may be refrigerated at 4°C (or 39°F) up to 72 hours.
Reference interval: By report
88108 Concentration and interpretation, or 88112 Selective cellular
enhancement with interpretation and 88312 x3. Special stains.
Additional CPT codes may apply if special studies are required.