Ascites

Definition

Ascites is the accumulation of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity.
Ascites
si55551253 96472 1 Ascites
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Causes

Ascites can be caused by:
  • High blood pressure in the portal venous system, which can be caused by:
    • Liver damage called cirrhosis (most common cause)
    • Heart failure
    • Blockage of the large vein in the abdomen called the vena cava
  • Malnutrition or other conditions leading to low amounts of protein in the blood
  • Certain cancers
  • Infections, such as certain bacteria and parasites or tuberculosis that can invade the abdomen
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney disease
  • Abdominal leakage of lymph fluid

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of ascites include having any of the conditions above.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Increased abdominal circumference
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain and/or distention
  • Pain on the side of the abdomen
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Difficulty breathing while lying flat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Heartburn

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests to determine cause may include:Imaging tests look for amount and distribution of fluid, and strctures inside abdomen. These may include:

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