DefinitionAscites is the accumulation of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity.
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CausesAscites can be caused by:
- High blood pressure in the portal venous system, which can be caused by:
- 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
- Kidney disease
- Abdominal leakage of lymph fluid
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of ascites include having any of the conditions above.
SymptomsSymptoms 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
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests to determine cause may include:
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