J Clin Exp Hepatol. 2023 Jan-Feb;13(1):15-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jceh.2022.10.007. Epub 2022 Oct 20.
BACKGROUND: Ascites is the most common complication of decompensated cirrhosis of liver requiring paracentesis for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The ascitic fluid leak can develop after paracentesis in patients with cirrhosis leading to significant morbidity if persistent. We aimed to study the incidence and predictors of post-paracentesis leak in patients with ascites.
METHODS: In this prospective study, patients with cirrhosis undergoing therapeutic paracentesis were followed up, and those patients who developed persistent leak were included as cases. Controls were randomly selected in a 2:1 ratio from the group of patients who did not develop leak. Clinical and laboratory parameters were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: A total of 256 patients underwent 1126 sessions of therapeutic abdominal paracentesis over a period of 14 months. Post-paracentesis leak was seen in 55 (4.8%) patients while only 20 (1.7%) patients had persistent leak. The management of leak was in a stepwise manner initially with tincture benzoin with tight dressing followed by topical cyanoacrylate adhesive and followed by autologous blood patch in those not responding. The persistent leak group had higher proportion of patients with parietal edema, higher PT-INR and Child-Pugh score, lower mid-upper arm circumference, short physical performance battery score, and handgrip strength. On multivariate analysis, only the presence of parietal edema was an independent predictor of post-paracentesis persistent leak (odds ratio 10.35, 95% confidence interval 1.61-66.54, P = 0.014).
CONCLUSION: Persistent leak after paracentesis develops in a minority of patients with cirrhosis. The presence of parietal edema is a risk factor for persistent leak. The majority of these patients can be managed in a stepwise approach.