Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Arthrocentesis: overview

Synonym(s): Joint fluid collection

Contributor(s): Melvyn Pond

Introduction

  • To withdraw a sample of synovial fluid for analysis Synovial fluid: cytology , as an ancillary aid to diagnosis of joint pathology.
  • Fluid samples can be obtained from virtually any joint in which an effusion can be palpated.

Uses

  • Investigation of persistent or cyclic pyrexia , associated with a generalized stiffness or lameness - multiple joints should be examined. →
  • An ancillary aid to diagnosis in many joint conditions (effusions, stiffness or pain), and identifying underlying joint pathology (inflammatory, infectious, neoplastic Synovial cell sarcoma ). →
  • Insertion of contrast media for radiographic examination. →
  • Intrasynovial administration of drugs.

Advantages

  • Immediate subjective assessment of color and viscosity of synovial fluid.
  • Differentiates major classifications of joint disease, ie infectious from non-infectious and inflammatory from non-inflammatory disorders.
  • Multiple joints may be sampled.
  • Does not always require sedation.

Disadvantages

  • Yields small volumes of fluid. Therefore, may need to sample more than one joint.
  • Some joints require analgesia.
  • Multiple sampling from same joint may confuse interpretation due to iatrogenic bleeding.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Clements D (2006) Arthrocentesis and synovial fluid analysis in dogs and cats. In Practice 28 (5), 256-262 VetMedResource.


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