What is Glucose - Body Fluid?
Blood glucose is measured to assess the glycemic state of a patient. Body fluid glucose concentrations that are lower than expected indicate increased cellularity and, therefore, glycolysis within the body fluid space. This serves as an indicator of infection or possibly malignancy. Body fluid glucose concentrations are expected to be lower than that found in serum or plasma. Ideally, they are measured in the fasting state, whereby glucose is able to equilibrate into the space the body fluid is contained within.
Low pleural fluid glucose concentrations (<40-60 mg/dL) indicate a complicated parapneumonic or malignant effusion. However, low glucose is not specific for infection or malignancy and may be attributed to hemothorax, tuberculosis, or rheumatoid, or lupus pleuritis, among other diseases. pH is the preferred test for making this determination when available.
Pericardial fluid glucose levels have been investigated on a limited basis. In presumed normal specimens collected during surgery, the pericardial fluid-to-serum ratio for glucose was 1.0 (95% CI, 0.8-1.2).
Ascitic fluid glucose should be interpreted in conjunction with serum glucose measurement. In a cohort of noninfected patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis, the mean (SD) ascitic fluid-to-serum glucose ratio was 1.04 (0.25). Ascitic fluid glucose may be helpful in differentiating spontaneous bacterial peritonitis from secondary peritonitis caused by bowel perforation. Secondary peritonitis is likely if 2 of the 3 following criteria are met:
- Total protein is greater than 1 g/dL
- Lactate dehydrogenase is greater than 225 IU/L (or greater than the upper limit of normal for serum)
- Glucose is less than 50 mg/dL
Amniotic fluid is produced by the amnion and placenta, representing a plasma ultrafiltrate. Amniocentesis may be performed to assess fetal distress. Intraamniotic infection or chorioamnionitis is an acute inflammation of the fetal membranes commonly caused by bacterial infection prompting an inflammatory response leading to labor and term or preterm birth. Chorioamnionitis may be symptomatic (clinical) or asymptomatic (histological), occurring most often during prolonged labor or as a consequence of membrane rupture as bacteria have a greater opportunity to ascend the lower genital tract to colonize the uterus. Prompt diagnosis and treatment for clinical chorioamnionitis are critical to avoid maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Culture and gram stain are often used in the assessment of infection, however, gram stain lacks sensitivity, and culture results are not returned in a timely enough manner to make clinical decisions. Low glucose concentrations have been associated with positive culture results and consequently poor outcomes.
Synovial fluid is present in joint cavities and serves a number of important roles in maintaining joint health and mobility. Symptoms of joint problems include pain, swelling, stiffness, or decreased range of motion.
Routine analysis of synovial fluid includes Gram stain, culture, crystal analysis, and cell count with WBC differential. In normal synovial fluid, glucose concentrations are similar to those observed in fasting serum. Low synovial fluid glucose has been associated with septic arthritis or inflammation.