• Definition

    Ascites is excess fluid in the space between the tissues lining the abdomen and abdominal organs (the peritoneal cavity).

    See also:

    • Alcoholic liver disease
    • Cirrhosis

    Alternative Names

    Portal hypertension - ascites

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    A person with ascites usually has severe liver disease. Ascites due to liver disease is caused by high pressure in the blood vessels of the liver (portal hypertension) and low albumin levels.

    Disorders that may be associated with ascites include:

    • Cirrhosis and any illness that leads to it
    • Clots in the veins of the liver (portal vein thrombosis)
    • Colon cancer
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Constrictive pericarditis
    • Hepatitis
    • Infections such as tuberculosis
    • Liver cancer
    • Nephrotic syndrome
    • Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer
    • Pancreatitis
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Protein-losing enteropathy

    Kidney dialysis may also be associated with ascites.