Medical management of ascites.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Feb 10;
Authors: Leung W, Wong F
Introduction: Ascites is a common complication of advanced cirrhosis that has a significant negative impact on survival. This review updates the reader on the medical management of ascites. Areas covered: This review explores the pathophysiology of ascites formation in cirrhosis; the current mainstays of medical management (treating the underlying cause of cirrhosis, avoiding nephrotoxic agents, sodium restriction, and combination diuretic therapy); potential novel agents, such as vasoconstrictors and vaptans; and albumin infusions. The literature research covers all aspects of medical management of ascites from the English literature, concentrating on publications from the past 10 years. It provides a thorough understanding of how the correction of pathophysiology of ascites formation helps to improve ascites; knowledge on the monitoring of patients with cirrhosis and ascites receiving medical management, and on prophylaxis against potentially life-threatening complication such as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis; and potential new treatments for ascites. Expert opinion: Management of patients with cirrhosis and ascites requires careful attention to fluid and electrolyte balance and avoidance of complications. Recognition of refractory ascites allows for the use of second-line treatments. All patients with cirrhosis and ascites should be considered for liver transplantation.
PMID: 21306283 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]