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Body Fluid Analysis

Last updated July 25, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Body Fluid Analysis is a broad term and refers to tests that may be performed on a sample of body fluid, besides blood.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Analysis of Body Fluid

What is Body Fluid Analysis Test? (Background Information)

Body Fluid Analysis is a broad term and refers to tests that may be performed on a sample of body fluid, besides blood. This includes:

  • Analysis of fluids, such as urine, semen, or sweat
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis - CSF is the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord
  • Analysis of fluids from body cavities, such as:
    • Peritoneal fluid - present within the 2 layers of peritoneal membrane that cover the abdominal wall and most of the abdominal organs
    • Pericardial fluid - surrounding the heart
    • Pleural fluid - surrounding the lungs
  • Synovial fluid analysis - synovial fluid is the lubricating fluid present in the joint spaces
  • Amniotic fluid analysis - the fluid surrounding the baby in the mother’s womb

A relevant Body Fluid Analysis is ordered by the physician to evaluate specific conditions; the body fluid may be subjected to the following studies:

  • Chemical studies
  • Cytological studies - studying the cells present in the body fluid, under a microscope
  • Microbiological - performing procedures, such as staining with dyes or culture procedures, to look for microorganisms
  • Genetic tests

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Body Fluid Analysis Test?

  • The indications under which a Body Fluid Analysis is ordered, the site of fluid collection, and the tests that are performed, are multiple and varied
  • These tests help the physician understand the cause of diseases/conditions and their processes better

How is the Specimen Collected for Body Fluid Analysis Test?

Sample required - it depends on the condition being investigated and may be any of the following:

  • Amniotic fluid
  • CSF (cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Pericardial fluid
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Pleural fluid
  • Semen
  • Sweat
  • Synovial fluid
  • Urine


  • Samples, such as urine or semen, may be collected in clean, sterile containers
  • Samples from body cavities are collected via a needle and syringe

Preparation required: Depends on the sample and indication for testing

What is the Significance of the Body Fluid Analysis Test Result?

Significance of the results is based on the clinical indications/reasons for performing these tests. However, some of the parameters that may be evaluated include:

  • Biochemical - tests to look at levels of electrolytes or other chemicals, e.g. urine sodium, CSF proteins, sugars, etc.
  • Cytological - observing the cells present in the sample, e.g. CSF white blood cells, sperm count in semen, etc.
  • Microbiological - staining the fluid with dyes to detect any microbes, culturing the fluid in a nutrient media to look for growth of organisms, e.g. urine culture and sensitivity
  • Other special tests, such as genetic testing or electrophoresis (using electrical field to separate out and identify chemicals that carry charge)

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 8, 2014
Last updated: July 25, 2019