HEP-Net opinion on the management of ascites and its complications in the setting of decompensated cirrhosis in the resource constrained environment of Pakistan
Approximately one half of patients develop ascites within 10 years of diagnosis of compensated cirrhosis. It is a poor prognostic indicator, with only 50% surviving beyond two years. Mortality worsens significantly to 20% to 50% at one year if the ascites becomes refractory to medical therapy. Pakistan has one of the highest prevalence of viral hepatitis in the world and patients with ascites secondary to liver cirrhosis make a major percentage of both inpatient and outpatient burden. Studies indicate that over 80% of patients admitted with ascites have liver cirrhosis as the cause.
This expert opinion suggests proper assessment of patients with ascites in the presence of underlying cirrhosis. This expert opinion includes appropriate diagnosis and management of uncomplicated ascites, refractory ascites and complicated ascites (including spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) ascites, hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) and hyponatremia. The purpose behind this expert opinion is to help consultants, postgraduate trainees, medical officers and primary care physicians optimally manage their patients with cirrhosis and ascites in a resource constrained setting as is often encountered in a developing country like Pakistan.
How to cite this:
Ali B, Salim A, Alam A, Zuberi BF, Ali Z, Azam Z, et al. HEP-Net opinion on the management of ascites and its complications in the setting of decompensated cirrhosis in the resource constrained environment of Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(5):1117-1132. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.5.2407
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