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Transudate is extravascular fluid with low protein content and a low specific gravity (< 1.012). It has low nucleated cell counts (less than 500 to 1000 /microlit) and the primary cell types are mononuclear cells: macrophages, lymphocytes and mesothelia cells. For instance, an ultrafiltrate of blood plasma is transudate. It results from increased fluid pressures or diminished colloid oncotic forces in the plasma .

In females, transudation is a method of lubrication during sexual arousal.

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Transudate vs. exudate

Levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)[1 ] or a Rivalta test can be used to distinguish transudate from exudate.

Transudate usually appears more clear than exudate.[2]

see also: Light's criteria for pleural effusions.

Pathology

The most common causes of pathologic transudate include conditions that either increase hydrostatic pressure in vessels : embolism, left ventricular heart failure,

Or decreasing colloid oncotic pressure in blood vessels :cirrhosis (Cirrhosis leads to hypoalbuminaemia and decreasing of colloid oncotic pressure in plasma that causes edema.), and Nephrotic syndrome (also due to hypoalbuminaemia caused by proteinuria).

See also

Exudate - extravascular fluid due to vessel alteration during inflammation (increased permeability, vascular constriction then dilation). This results in an extracellular fluid of high protein content, with cell debris present and high specific gravity (>1.020).

This is in contrast to transudate where the extracellular fluid is an ultrafiltrate of blood plasma and thus larger molecules such as proteins and cell debris are absent.

References

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