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Synovial Fluid Classification
Differentiate the types of synovial fluid aspirates
Roe RL, Trafton PG: "Arthritis & Back Pain" in Current Emergency Diagnosis & Treatment 3rd ed. Ho MT, Saunders CE (eds). Appleton and Lange 1990. p193.
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Type of Joint FluidViscosityClarityColorWBC Count (per microLiter)Gram Stain - C & S
NormalHighClearLight yellow< 200Negative
NoninflammatoryHighClearLight yellow200 - 2000Negative
InflammatoryLowCloudyDark yellow> 2000Negative
SepticLowCloudyDark yellowUsually > 40,000Usually postive (except only 25% positive if gonorrhea)
HemorrhagicVariableCloudyPink-redUsually > 2000, with many RBC'sNegative

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