Management of adult patients with ascites caused by cirrhosis

Hepatology. 1998 Jan;27(1):264-72. doi: 10.1002/hep.510270139.


Ascites is the most common of the major complications of cirrhosis. The development of ascites is an important landmark in the natural history of cirrhosis and has been proposed as an indication for liver transplantation. The initial evaluation of a patient with ascites should include a history, physical evaluation, and abdominal paracentesis with ascitic fluid analysis. Treatment should consist of abstinence from alcohol, sodium restricted diet, and diuretics. This regimen is effective in approximately 90% of patients. The treatment options for the diuretic-resistant patients include serial therapeutic paracenteses, liver transplantation, and peritoneovenous shunting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / diagnosis
  • Ascites / etiology*
  • Ascites / therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*


  • Diuretics