Clinical history of liver cirrhosis is characterised by two phases: the asymptomatic phase, also termed 'compensated cirrhosis', and the phase of complications due to the development of portal hypertension and liver dysfunction, also termed 'decompensated cirrhosis', in which patients may develop ascites, the most frequent and clinically relevant complication of liver cirrhosis. Ascites can be classified into uncomplicated and complicated according to the development of refractoriness, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) or the association with hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). In this narrative review, we will extensively discuss the optimal pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of cirrhotic ascites with the aim to offer an updated practical guide to Internal Medicine physicians. According to the amount of fluid in the abdominal cavity, uncomplicated ascites is graded from 1 to 3, and the cornerstone of its management consists of restriction of salt intake, diuretics and large-volume paracentesis (LVP); in recent years, long-term administration of human albumin has acquired a new interesting role. Refractory ascites is primarily managed with LVP and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement in selected patients. The occurrence of renal impairment, especially HRS, worsens the prognosis of patients with cirrhotic ascites and deserves a specific treatment. Also, the management of SBP faces the rising and alarming spread of antibiotic resistance. Hepatic hydrothorax may even complicate the course of the disease and its management is a challenge. Last but not least, liver transplantation (LT) is the ultimate and more effective measure to offer to patients with cirrhotic ascites, particularly when complications occur.

Optimal management of cirrhotic ascites: A review for internal medicine physicians

Gallo A.;Dedionigi C.;Civitelli C.;Squizzato A.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Clinical history of liver cirrhosis is characterised by two phases: the asymptomatic phase, also termed 'compensated cirrhosis', and the phase of complications due to the development of portal hypertension and liver dysfunction, also termed 'decompensated cirrhosis', in which patients may develop ascites, the most frequent and clinically relevant complication of liver cirrhosis. Ascites can be classified into uncomplicated and complicated according to the development of refractoriness, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) or the association with hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). In this narrative review, we will extensively discuss the optimal pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of cirrhotic ascites with the aim to offer an updated practical guide to Internal Medicine physicians. According to the amount of fluid in the abdominal cavity, uncomplicated ascites is graded from 1 to 3, and the cornerstone of its management consists of restriction of salt intake, diuretics and large-volume paracentesis (LVP); in recent years, long-term administration of human albumin has acquired a new interesting role. Refractory ascites is primarily managed with LVP and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement in selected patients. The occurrence of renal impairment, especially HRS, worsens the prognosis of patients with cirrhotic ascites and deserves a specific treatment. Also, the management of SBP faces the rising and alarming spread of antibiotic resistance. Hepatic hydrothorax may even complicate the course of the disease and its management is a challenge. Last but not least, liver transplantation (LT) is the ultimate and more effective measure to offer to patients with cirrhotic ascites, particularly when complications occur.
ascites; hepatic hydrothorax; hepatorenal syndrome; human albumin; liver cirrhosis; narrative review; spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
Gallo, A.; Dedionigi, C.; Civitelli, C.; Panzeri, A.; Corradi, C.; Squizzato, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2113224
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