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Ascites-Symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment

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Ascites-Symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment

Ascites is a Gastroenterology term for an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity that exceeds 25 mL. It is a condition in which excess fluids get accumulated in abdominal area this causes abdominal area to swell and lead to increase in gut size

It is commonly caused due to

  • cirrhosis,
  • Acute liver diseases
  • Increased pressure of liver blood flow
  • metastatic cancer

Rare causing due to

  • Malignant
  • Pancreatitis

Risk factor of ascities are

  • Cirrohis
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • alcohol abuse
  • Congestive heart failure

Symptoms of Ascites

  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Discomfort
  • Bloating
    • It leads to shortness of breath when pressure increases in the diaphragm.

Complications with Ascites are Budd-Chiari syndrome(The condition is caused by occlusion of the hepatic veins that drain the liver.)

Diagnosis for Ascites :  The diagnosis of ascites is based on physical examination in conjunction with a detailed medical history based on underlying causes, symptoms, fluid levels in abdomen which can be demonstrated by professional medical practitioner.

  • Ultrasound scan : It is used to detect small amount of fluid in the abdomen
  • CT Scan :- It is for evaluating other conditions
  • Blood test: It is to evaluate the cause of Ascites (ex : liver disease, liver hepatitis, alcohol abuse etc.,). It is helps in detecting patterns of liver injury, functional status of the liver and kidney.
    • Blood count can also detect underlying conditions.

Treatment : Treatment may be with Diet, medication (diuretics), Therapeutic paracentesis,  Surgery or other treatments directed at the cause. (Some times liver transplantation for advanced cirrhosis, It will be the final stage.

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