BVSc, PhD, DiplACVIM, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University ofMinnesota, 1352 Boyd Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108; E-mail: tobia004@umn edu
Use of Pericardial Fluid pH to Distinguish between Idiopathic and Neoplastic Effusions
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2003 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 525–529, July 2003
How to Cite
Fine, D. M., Tobias, A. H. and Jacob, K. A. (2003), Use of Pericardial Fluid pH to Distinguish between Idiopathic and Neoplastic Effusions. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 17: 525–529. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2003.tb02473.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Revised December 12, 2002; Accepted January 27, 2003.
Pericardial effusion (PE) resulting from neoplasia usually is associated with a poor prognosis, whereas idiopathic PE frequently has a good prognosis. This study examined the utility of pH measurement to distinguish between these 2 etiologies. Dogs were classified as having idiopathic PE (n = 12) if pericarditis was diagnosed on histopathology (n = 4) or if no historical, physical, or echocardiographic evidence of recurrent PE was present for at least 6 months after pericardiocentesis (n = 8). Dogs were classified as having neoplastic PE (n = 25) if pericardial or myocardial neoplasia was detected on histopathology (n = 11) or a discrete mass associated with the right atrium, right ventricle, or the aorta was visualized on echocardiography (n = 14). Samples of PE were centrifuged and the supernatant pH was measured with a portable pH meter. The lowest pH (6.40) was found in a dog with idiopathic PE and the highest pH (7.85) was found in a dog with neoplastic PE. However, data from the 2 groups overlapped in 33 out of 37 (89%) instances, and median pH from the idiopathic and neoplastic groups was not significantly different (7.40 and 7.47, respectively; P= 0.28; difference in medians =–0.07; 95% CI, –0.26-0.06). Because of the degree of overlap, our data provide little justification for the use of pH measurement as a diagnostic test in cases of PE. Key words: Canine; Cardiac tumor; Pericardial effusion; Pericarditis.