A peritoneal culture is a procedure where peritoneal fluid is withdrawn with a needle from the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneal cavity is the space between the two membranes lining the abdominal cavity. The test is done to determine the cause of ascites, fluid accumulation in the peritoneal space.
Review Date 1/1/2019
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.