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Test Code FCNTS Body Fluid Cell Count With Differential (Non-Blood or Urine) LAB210


Manual Enumeration Using Hemocytometer/Microscope or Automated Analyzer for Cell Count

Differentiation of WBC is done Microscopically.

Performing Laboratory

St. Luke's Hospital Cedar Rapids

Specimen Requirements


Preferred: 1mL body fluid in EDTA (Lavender Tube).

Minimum Volume: 0.5 mL body fluid in EDTA

Stability: Mix specimen well by inversion. Cell count should be performed promptly.

Note: Indicate specimen source on specimen container and in computer.

Reference Values


Total Nucleated Cells: 0-200/cumm


No established reference values

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday

Test Classification and CPT Coding


Useful For

Pleural Fluid (Thoracentesis): There is normally about 1 to 15 mL of pleural fluid in the pleural space surrounding the lungs.  In normal conditions, there is not a true pleural space.  An abnormal accumulation of fluid (pleural effusion) in the pleural space is seen in the presence of certain diseases.


Pericardial Fluid (Pericardiocentesis): The pericardial space surrounding the heart normally contains 10-50 mL of clear, straw colored tissue fluid, an ultrafiltrate of plasma called pericardial fluid.  When an abnormal accumulation of this fluid occurs, it fills the space around the heart and can mechanically inhibit the normal activity of the heart.  Relief is obtained by aspiration of the excess fluid.


Peritoneal Fluid (Paracentesis): There is normally less than 100 mL of clear, straw colored tissue fluid present in the peritoneal space surrounding the abdominal viscera.  Large amounts of fluid can be removed to alleviate discomfort.


Synovial Fluid (Arthrocentesis):  Synovial fluid is a colorless or pale yellow, transparent, and viscous liquid found in the joint cavities. Although synovial fluid is found in all joints, the specimen frequently received in the laboratory is an aspirate of the knee.  The normal amount of fluid contained in the knee cavity is less than 3.5 mL; however, this amount increases in disorders of the joint.


Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid (BAL):  A bronchoscopic procedure to retrieve cells and soluble substances from the lining fluid of the distal airways and alveolar units, containing immunologic components of the lung’s epithelia surface.  The bronchoscopic technique reveals specific information in disorders, such as pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, Langerhans cell histiocytosis, alveolar hemorrhage, or dust exposure.  Differential of cells contained in BAL, as well as subtyping of lymphocytes, has gained special importance for differential diagnosis and analysis of activity status of interstitial lung disease.