Clinical features and management of malignant ascites

J Pak Med Assoc. 1991 Feb;41(2):38-40.


Retrospective analysis of 45 patients (33 females, 12 males) with cytologically-proven malignant ascites is presented. Abdominal pain was the most frequent symptom (69%). Fiftythree percent cases had low serum albumin. Ascitic fluid was haemorrhagic or serosanguinous in 48% cases, in the rest it was clear or straw-coloured. Peritoneal effusion was exudative in 84% cases. Mean glucose content of ascitic fluid was 95 mg/dl and the mean white cell count of 919 cells/cmm. Vast majority (82%) of the cases had metastatic adenocarcinomas. Primary malignancy was mostly ovarian (47%) followed by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (11%) and gall bladder carcinoma (9%). Primary site could not be identified in 13% cases. Sixty-two percent patients received systemic chemotherapy for the underlying malignancy, of these 43% had complete or partial resolution of the ascites. Of the patients whose long-term follow-up is available, 54% were alive with a median follow-up of 9 months.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ascites / diagnosis*
  • Ascites / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies