What is the role of arthrocentesis in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Jun 10, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

A diagnostic joint aspiration for synovial fluid analysis can help exclude inflammatory arthritis, infection, or crystal arthropathy. The presence of noninflammatory joint fluid helps distinguish osteoarthritis from other causes of joint pain. Other synovial fluid findings that aid in the differentiation of osteoarthritis from other conditions are negative Gram stains and cultures, as well as the absence of crystals when fluid is viewed under a polarized microscope.

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