Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.

Special Considerations


This article may contain information on medical procedures that are not recommended or endorsed by Catholic Health Partners. Promotion of this topic is prohibited by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services. In the Ethical and Religious Directives, Catholic health institutions are prohibited from condoning contraceptive practices. Married couples should be given information about natural family planning as well as the church’s teachings on responsible parenthood. The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only. It is not provided as a professional service or as medical advice for specific patients.

Cytology exam of pleural fluid

Definition

A cytology examination of pleural fluid is a laboratory test to detect cancerous cells in the pleural space, the area that surrounds the lungs.

See: Cytologic evaluation

Alternative Names

Pleural fluid cytology

How the test is performed

A sample of fluid from the pleural space is needed. For information on how the sample is obtained, see: Thoracentesis.

The fluid sample is sent to a laboratory where it is examined under the microscope to determine what the cells look like, and whether they are abnormal. "Cytology" refers to the study of cells.

How to prepare for the test

The laboratory test requires no preparation. For information on how to prepare for removal of the fluid sample, see: Thoracentesis

How the test will feel

See: Thoracentesis

Why the test is performed

A cytology exam is used to look for cancer and precancerous cells. Your doctor may order a cytology examination of pleural fluid if you have signs of fluid buildup in the pleural space, a condition called pleural effusion. The test may also be done if you have signs of lung cancer.

Normal Values

Normal cells are seen.

What abnormal results mean

In an abnormal test, there are cancerous (malignant) cells. This may mean there is a cancerous tumor. This test most often detects:

What the risks are

There are no risks involved with a cytology exam.

For information risks related to the procedure to remove a sample of pleural fluid, see: Thoracentesis

Special considerations

References

Celli BR. Diseases of the diaphragm, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 100.

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

    Review Date: 9/15/2010

    Review By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

    www.adam.com
    www.mercyweb.org
    follow us online
    facebook youtube


    Contact us
    Home  |  Sitemap

    Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
    Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011