To determine effects of the biochemical and cytological properties of blood, serum, and ascites on survival of patients with malignant peritoneal effusion (MPeE), including malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) and peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC), we conducted a retrospective study of patients with MPeE and healthy controls. Potential prognostic factors were identified as follows: age, sex, blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), serum parameters, ascites parameters, serum-ascites albumin gradient, and the ascites-serum LDH ratio. Compared to those of the control group, serum albumin levels were significantly lower, and the NLR and serum LDH levels were significantly higher in the MPeE group. Overall survival (OS) was longer in patients with MPeM compared to that in patients with PC. Compared with patients in the MPeM, patients with PC had higher NLRs, ascites glucose levels, serum-ascites albumin gradients, and serum LDH levels. In contrast, their ascites albumin levels and ascites-serum LDH ratios were lower. Univariate analyses indicated that the NLR, serum LDH levels, ascites LDH levels, ascites coenocyte levels, and the ascites coenocyte-to-monocyte ratios affected the OS. Multivariate analyses identified only serum and ascites LDH levels as independent prognostic factors.