Transudates and Exudates: Introduction, Differences between them, and Keynotes

Introduction of Transudates and Exudates

Transuadtes are serous cavities fluids that accumulate as a result of non-inflammatory mechanisms while exudates are serous cavities and tissue fluids which accumulate due to inflammatory processes.

Transudates and Exudates: Introduction and Differences between them
Fig. Confirming the body fluid whether transudates or exudates

Differences between Transudates and Exudates

The Differences between transudates and exudates are as follows-

Serial No.TransudatesExudates
1These are fluids of the serous cavity accumulated due to the non-inflammatory process.These fluids of the serous cavity as well as tissues accumulated as a result of the inflammatory process.
2Accumulation of fluid generally occurs as a result of circulation disturbance with passive congestion and edema. e.g. effusion into pericardial, pleural, and peritoneal cavities Accumulation of fluid generally occurs as a result of inflammation and bacterial infection. e.g. fluid collected from the infected site
3Appearances of fluid are normally clear, serous, and light yellow. Appearances of fluid are normally clear or cloudy, purulent hemorrhagic chylous, and flocculent/ fibrin.
4Absence of clotThe clot may be formed spontaneously.
5Specific gravity is less than 1.018. Specific gravity is greater than 1.018.
6Protein is below 2.5 g/dL. Protein is above 2.5 g/dL.
7Few epithelial cells and small lymphocytes are normally seen.Numerous polymorphonuclear cells in acute infection while small lymphocytes in chronic infection are observed. The involvement of red blood cells may be detected.
8Bacteria are absent.Bacteria are usually present.
Table: Transudates versus exudates


  • The above fluid is an exudate since it is turbid and microscopy findings are also suggesting the presence of packed polymorphonuclear cells, numerous red blood cells (RBCs), and CL crystals.
  • Pus cells are dead leukocytes (main neutrophils/polymorphonuclear cells) that accumulate when the body’s immune system activates in response to an infection. They form a whitish-yellow or yellowish-colored protein-rich fluid at the location of the infection.

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