Intraperitoneal pressures and clinical parameters of total paracentesis for palliation of symptomatic ascites in ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 1998 Dec;71(3):381-5. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1998.5215.


Objective: The present study was designed to prospectively evaluate the intraperitoneal pressure, as well as clinical and hemodynamic effects of total paracentesis, as palliation of symptomatic ascites in ovarian cancer patients.

Methods: Prospective study of 35 sequential total paracenteses was performed using a Veres cannula on patients with advanced recurrent ovarian cancer with symptomatic tense ascites. Relevant clinical symptoms and patient well-being were evaluated. Vital signs, abdominal parameters, and hydrostatic intraperitoneal pressure were recorded before, during, and after the procedure.

Results: Intraperitoneal pressure dropped from 30 +/- 7 cmH2O before paracentesis to 13 +/- 6 cmH2O after the procedure (P < 0.0001). Marked symptomatic improvement was observed in all patients (89% complete relief, 11% partial relief), while all the patients tolerated the procedure well without any complications. The mean volume of ascitic fluid removed was 4800 ml. Mean respiratory rate and mean heart rate were both significantly decreased following the procedure (29.3 to 21.4 respirations per min and 101.5 to 93.6 beats per min, respectively). Mean systolic blood pressure mildly decreased (6.6 mmHg), while the mean diastolic blood pressure did not significantly change. None of the patients presented signs or symptoms of hypovolemia during or after the total paracentesis.

Conclusions: Measurement of intraperitoneal pressures during total paracentesis for tense ascites in ovarian cancer patients indicated that the severity of symptoms correlated with the intraperitoneal pressure prior to paracentesis, but not with the volume of ascites. Intraperitoneal pressures measured following total paracentesis in patients with ovarian cancer were similar to the baseline intraperitoneal pressure measured in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / etiology*
  • Ascites / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Palliative Care*
  • Paracentesis*
  • Peritoneum
  • Pressure
  • Prospective Studies