Clinical Profile and Complications of Paracentesis in Refractory Ascites Patients With Cirrhosis

Sreenivasa Rao Sudulagunta, Mahesh Babu Sodalagunta, Shiva Kumar Bangalore Raja, Hadi Khorram, Mona Sepehrar, Zahra Noroozpour


Background: Large volume paracentesis is found to be safer and more effective for the treatment of tense ascites compared with larger-than-usual doses of diuretics according to studies. The objectives of the study was to evaluate patients with refractory ascites regarding clinical profile, technique of paracentesis, complications, amount of ascites drained, prognosis and co-morbid conditions associated with it.

Methods: Retrospective study was performed including patients between January 2011 and December 2013 with data pooled from total of five hospitals. A total of 4,389 paracenteses were performed on the 1,218 patients with a mean volume of 4,900 ± 2,795 mL ascitic fluid drained. Blind technique, ultrasound-guided technique of paracentesis and pig tail catheter drainage were evaluated. Diabetes mellitus data from available patients and data regarding co-morbidities were analyzed. Coagulation abnormalities in patients were studied.

Results: Study group age ranged from 34 to 79 years, and alcohol is the main cause of cirrhosis. Dyslipidemia was observed in 1,080 patients (88.66%). At the time of inclusion in the study, 40% of the patients had ≥ 2 other cirrhosis-related complications and 20% of the study population had ≥ 3 complications. Early complications occurred in 27.5% (337) of patients and late complications constituted 16.83% (205 patients).

Conclusions: Even with abnormal coagulation, paracentesis is a safe procedure. But significant co-morbidities should be addressed with care in cirrhosis patients. Ultrasound guidance during the procedure whenever required should be encouraged.

Gastroenterol Res. 2015;8(3-4):228-233


Cirrhosis; Ascites; Paracentesis; Pig tail catheter; Ultrasound; Dyslipidemia

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