What Is Perihepatic Ascites?

Q:
What is perihepatic ascites?

A:
“Perihepatic” refers to surrounding the liver; when fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity, it is called ascites. Therefore, perihepatic ascites refers to fluid surrounding the liver.

Causes

The most common cause of ascites is cirrhosis of the liver, but other conditions such as heart failure, kidney failure, infection or cancer can also lead to ascites.

Symptoms

There may be no symptoms associated with ascites especially if it is mild (usually less than about 100 – 400 ml in adults).

  • As more fluid accumulates, increased abdominal girth and size are commonly seen.
  • Abdominal pain, discomfort, and bloating are also frequently seen as ascites becomes larger.
  • Shortness of breath can also happen with large ascites due to increased pressure on the diaphragm.

Treatments

The treatment for ascites varies depending on different etiological factors. Some recommendations for treating perihepatic ascites are as follows:

  • Diet: Limiting dietary sodium intake and prescribing diuretics.
  • Medication: Diuretics increase water and salt excretion from the kidneys.
  • Therapeutic paracentesis: It might be used to remove large amounts of fluid.
  • Surgery: For more refractory cases, surgical procedures may be recommended to control the ascites.
  • Liver transplant: liver transplantation for advanced cirrhosis may be used as a treatment for ascites due to liver failure.

If have any further questions, please go to see a doctor for professional help.

Key words: perihepatic ascites; liver; Cirrhosis of the liver.

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