Clinical practice guidelines for the management of cirrhotic patients with ascites

F. Salerno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An ad hoc Committee appointed by the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver prepared these Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Managment of Cirrothic Patients with Ascites. The initial evaluation of a patient with ascites should include a history, physical evaluation, paracentesis with ascitic fluid analysis, abdominal ultrasonography and biochemistry to assess the severity of liver disease and renal functionality. To improve the efficiency of the choice between the different opportunities available in the treatment of ascites, patients can be classified into two subgroups: patients with uncomplicated ascites and patients with complicated ascites, including refractory ascites, bacterial peritonitis, hyponatraemia and renal failure. Based upon evidence emerging from controlled clinical trials or case-control studies, satisfactory treatment for uncomplicated ascites is represented by paracentesis, sodium-restricted diet and diuretics, whereas the treatment of patients with complicated ascites requires other specific approaches. As the prognosis for most patients with ascites is poor, the last part of the paper offers simple criteria in the selection of patients candidates for liver transplantation. The aim of these guidelines is to reduce inappropriate practice and to improve efficiency in the management of patients with ascites. The Committee holds that a periodic update will be necessary to conform to future scientific developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
JournalItalian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Ascites
  • Cirrhosis
  • Diuretics
  • LeVeen shunt
  • Paracentesis
  • TIPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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