ascites

Ascites is a medical complication or symptoms, often from another medical condition, when there is a pooling of fluid into the abdomen.

It can also be referred to as the accumulation of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity or hydroperitoneum.

Ascites Can Be Seen In The Following Condtions:

–  Portal Hypertension with an increase in portal pressure
–  Cirrhosis  [Ascites can often be seen in 8 out 10 patients with cirrhosis]
–  Liver Disease
–  Cancers – Including Liver Cancer
–  Heart Failure

The diagnosis of Ascites can be done by:

–  Blood work
–  Ultrasound
–  Fluid removal by a needle
–  CT exam may be useful to determine cause as well.

Abdominal paracentesis

–  Fluid removal by needle
–  Often done to analyze the fluid itself
–  Can help determine the cause of the ascities.

CategoriesTransudate” and “Exudate

1.)  Transudate

–  Due to an increase in pressure.
–  Can be seen in Cirrhosis
–  Can be seen in Portal hypertension

2.)  Exudative

–  Due to an increase in protein.
–  Can be seen in Inflammation
–  Can be seen in malignancy

Symptoms:

–  Distention of abdomen
–  Shortness of breath
–  Abdominal bloating or “heavyness”
–  Leg swelling
–  Chronic Fatigue
–  Weight loss
–  Weight gain

Treatment

Often dependent on the cause agent, but may include:

1.)  Fluid removal  [Parancentesis]

2.)  Diuretic Medication:

         . Spirolactone
         . Amiloride
         . Triamterene
         . Furosemide
         . Bumetanide
         . Torasemide

3.)  Water restriction

4.)  Liver Transplant  [ In some cases]

5.)  Shunting  [Liver]

6.)  Other

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