Pleural Fluid pH Testing Now Available on Siemens Blood Gas Analyzer

May 18, 2012

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics received CE Mark approval to offer pleural fluid pH1 testing on its RAPIDPoint® 500 Blood Gas System, providing laboratories and point-of-care coordinators in Europe with an important new diagnostic tool for use in critical care situations. Measuring pleural fluid pH gives clinicians information that can help guide therapy for patients. Pleural fluid effusions may be a symptom of underlying illness such as heart failure, pulmonary embolism, cancer and kidney disease.2


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.3 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 using a blood gas analyzer.4,5,6 Moreover, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) recommends the use of blood gas analyzers as the preferred pleural fluid chemistry test for categorizing and managing parapneumonic effusions.7


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 and lactate⁸ and full CO-oximetry, including neonatal total bilirubin and total hemoglobin. The RAPIDPoint 500 system leverages proven Siemens 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, which reduces downtime.


For more information about pleural fluid testing on the RAPIDPoint 500 system, please visit



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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 2011 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.5 billion euros and profit of around 1.3 billion euros. For further information please visit:

1Disclaimer: The products/features (mentioned herein) are not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons their future availability cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens organization for further details. Under development. Not available for sale in the U.S.

2Cleveland Clinic. Diseases & Conditions. Pleural Effusion - Heart & Vascular Institute Overview. Available at Accessed 3/28/12.

3Good JT, Jr Taryle DA, Maulitz RM, et al: The diagnostic value of pleural fluid pH. Chest. 1980, 78:55-59

4Chandler 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

5Cheng 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

6Lesh 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

7Colic 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

8Under FDA review. Not available for sale in U.S.