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Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) is the most common
major complication of
cirrhosis. But it's important to get treatment. People who have alcoholic cirrhosis may
develop ascites early in the course of liver disease. Those who have other
forms of cirrhosis, such as that caused by viral hepatitis, may develop ascites
much later. The things that cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen are
complex, but high blood pressure in the portal vein system of the liver (portal hypertension) is an important contributor to
Treatment for ascites depends on the cause.
About 90 out of 100 people with ascites
caused by cirrhosis respond to treatment with a low-salt diet and medicines
(diuretics) that eliminate extra fluid from the
Paracentesis is a procedure used to collect and remove
some of the fluid to help determine what is causing it to build up. Having
ascites may lead to:
Therapeutic paracentesis may be used if you have
cirrhosis and you:
You may also need additional treatments such as:
January 17, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
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