Within what time frame should synovial fluid analysis occur

Within what time frame should synovial fluid analysis occur?

Synovial fluid should be analyzed as soon as possible after the fluid is drawn. If it is delayed for >6 hours, results may be spuriously altered. Problems that can arise include:

• Decrease in leukocyte count (due to cell disruption).

• Decrease in number of crystals (primarily calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate [CPPD]).

• Appearance of artifactual crystals.

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