FDA Clears Siemens Pleural Fluid pH Test for RAPIDPoint 500 System


Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has obtained FDA clearance to offer pleural fluid pH testing on its RAPIDPoint® 500 Blood Gas System, providing U.S. laboratories and point-of-care coordinators with an important new diagnostic tool for critical care situations. The pH measurement of pleural fluids can be a clinically useful tool in the management of patients with parapneumonic effusions, which may be a symptom of underlying illness.


When a patient’s pleural fluid pH is less than 7.30 (normal pleural fluid pH is estimated at 7.64), it may suggest the presence of an inflammatory or infiltrative process.¹ While these measurements can be taken using pH meters or indicator sticks, multiple studies have shown these methods to be less accurate than readings conducted with blood gas analyzers.²,³,⁴ Moreover, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) recommends blood gas analyzers as the preferred pleural fluid chemistry test for categorizing and managing parapneumonic effusions.⁵


The addition of pleural fluid pH testing on the company’s RAPIDPoint 500 system complements the analyzer’s comprehensive critical care menu, which includes tests for blood gases, electrolytes, glucose, lactate and full CO-oximetry, including neonatal total bilirubin and total hemoglobin. The RAPIDPoint 500 system leverages Siemens proven technology to deliver laboratory-quality results in approximately 60 seconds from a single, whole blood sample. Further, the analyzer’s measurement cartridges last up to 28 days and contain a full complement of tests, reducing downtime.


Contact for journalists:

Susan Drew
Siemens Healthcare, Media Relations
Phone: +1 914-524-2844; E-mail: susan.drew@siemens.com

For more information about pleural fluid testing on the RAPIDPoint 500 system, please visit: http://usa.healthcare.siemens.com/point-of-care/poc-blood-gas-topics/pleural-fluid1-ph-testing-rapidpoint500

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Launched in November 2011, “Agenda 2013” is the initiative of the Siemens Healthcare Sector to further strengthen its innovative power and competitiveness. Specific measures, which will be implemented by the end of 2013, have been defined in four fields of action: innovation, competitiveness, regional footprint, and people development.


The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2012 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 13.6 billion euros.

1Good JT, Jr Taryle DA, Maulitz RM, et al: The diagnostic value of pleural fluid pH. Chest. 1980, 78:55-59

2Chandler T, McCoskey E, Byrd R et al. Comparison of the use and accuracy of methods for determining pleural fluid pH. South Med J 1999; 92:214-17

3Cheng DS, Rodriquez R, Rogers J et al. Comparison of pleural fluid pH obtained using blood gas machine, pH meter, and pH indicator strip. Chest 1998; 144:1368-72

4Lesh E, Robin B. Is pH paper an acceptable, low-cost alternative to the blood gas analyzer for determining pleural fluid pH? Chest 1997; 112:1291-92

5Colic Gl, Curtis A. Deslauriers J, et al: Medical and surgical treatment of parapneuomonic effusions: An evidence-based guideline (AACP consensus statement) Chest 2000, 188:1158-1171