Keywords: Peritoneal effusion


Appropriate Tests


Clinical assessment of likely cause. Peritoneal fluid examination by microscopy, cell count and differential and bacterial culture, may be indicated if cause uncertain or infection suspected.

CA 125 may be elevated in any peritoneal disease and is not specific for ovarian cancer.

Neoplasia, especially


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma


  • Hepatic metastases


  • Peritoneal metastases


  • Ovarian carcinoma


  • Meig's syndrome


  • Gastrointestinal tract carcinoma

Gastric biopsy. Colorectal biopsy.

  • Pancreatic carcinoma

See under Pancreatic neoplasm.

  • Lymphoma




Portal Hypertension


Peritonitis, especially

Primary peritonitis, especially in alcoholics, may present with few symptoms and signs of inflammation.

  • Pyogenic infection

MCS of ascitic fluid

  • Tuberculosis

Mycobacteria testing

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