Ascites is characterized by an accumulation of liquid in the peritoneal cavity. It is due either to :
- hydrosodium retention associated with portal hypertension ;
- tumour, infectious or inflammatory disorders of the peritoneum.
In France, the most frequent cause of ascites is cirrhosis. Other tumour causes are to be noted: ovarian tumour, peritoneal carcinosis, mesothelioma (rumour of the peritoneum and/or pleura).
But ascites can also have a cardiac or pancreatic origin, or be due to liver failure.
Symptoms of the disease
Ascites is often preceded by abdominal meteorism or diarrhea and is accompanied by abdominal pain
• Symptomatic treatment uses a salt-free diet and/or diuretics. Evacuation punctures may be required with a compensatory venous infusion of human serum albumin.