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January 11, 1985

A Practical Handbook of Joint Fluid Analysis

JAMA. 1985;253(2):272. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350260126049

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This handy little volume is long overdue. It brings to the realm of the office what previously was the province of the research laboratory. Any physicians who have occasion to see patients who have rheumatic diseases and arthritis in its many manifestations should have the book handy, for their own use or for their laboratory assistants to test the only material that gives relatively specific answers. (Most abnormalities we find in blood tests are nonspecific, and even biopsy specimens and roentgenograms cannot home in on the diagnosis as well as synovianalysis can.)

The book details how to prepare for a sterile aspiration (elaborate surgical technique may be eschewed, and providone iodine [Betadine] should be used, not the familiar red solutions that cannot guard as well against infection). Single needle, substituted syringe techniques are ideal for aspirating fluid and introducing medication thereafter. If the guidelines are followed, most aspirations should be