Purpose: To evaluate the rate and risk factors for hemorrhage in patients undergoing real-time, ultrasound-guided paracentesis by radiologists without correction of coagulopathy.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of all patients who underwent real-time, ultrasound-guided paracentesis at a single institution over a 2-year period. In total, 3116 paracentesis procedures were performed: 757 (24%) inpatients and 2,359 (76%) outpatients. Ninety-five percent of patients had a diagnosis of cirrhosis. Mean patient age was 56.6 years. Mean international normalized ratio (INR) was 1.6; INR was > 2 in 437 (14%) of cases. Mean platelet count was 122 x 103/μL; platelet count was < 50 x 103/μL in 368 (12%) of patients. Seven hundred seven (23%) patients were dialysis dependent. Patients were followed for 2 weeks after paracentesis to assess for hemorrhage requiring transfusion or rescue angiogram/embolization. Univariate analysis was performed to determine risk factors for hemorrhage. Blood product and cost saving analysis were performed.
Results: Significant post-paracentesis hemorrhage occurred in 6 (0.19%) patients, and only 1 patient required an angiogram with embolization. No predictors of post-procedure bleeding were found, including INR and platelet count. Transfusion of 1125 units of fresh frozen plasma and 366 units of platelets were avoided, for a transfusion-associated cost savings of $816,000.
Conclusions: Without correction of coagulation abnormalities with prophylactic blood product transfusion, post-procedural hemorrhage is very rare when paracentesis is performed with real-time ultrasound guidance by radiologists.
Copyright © 2018 SIR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.