The following are standard tests in suspected ascites:
If there is a very high white cell count, i.e. greater than 250/mm cubed, which is predominantly polymorphs, then this is suggestive spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Often such an infection is due to coliforms.
A sample of fluid that contains more than one type of organism suggests possible bowel perforation or a contaminated sample. Other tests on the ascitic fluid may be considered:
Last reviewed 01/2018