Journal Article

Efficacy of extracorporeal ultrafiltration of ascitic fluid as a treatment of refractory ascites.

S Daimon, S Yasuhara, T Saga, S Tokunaga, H Chikaki and K Dan

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue 10, pages 2617-2623
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/13.10.2617
Efficacy of extracorporeal ultrafiltration of ascitic fluid as a treatment of refractory ascites.

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BACKGROUND: Refractory ascites is recognized in patients with various conditions. Although intravenous reinjection of ascitic fluid after its filtration and concentration (IRA) is an effective method of treating this condition, many associated side-effects have been reported. We performed extracorporeal ultrafiltration of ascitic fluid (EUA) to demonstrate the efficacy and advantages of this method of treating refractory ascites. METHODS: EUA was performed in seven patients with hepatic cirrhosis (3 cases), lupus nephritis, diabetic nephropathy, and carcinomatous peritonitis (2 cases) for a total of 122 sessions. IRA was performed in three of these seven patients for a total of 12 sessions. RESULTS: The average volumes of ascitic fluid removed by EUA and IRA were 3.94+/-1.45 litres and 2.87+/-0.69 litres (mean+/-SD) respectively. Although chills and acute renal failure were recognized as complications of IRA in five and one sessions respectively, the only complication of EUA was severe intra-abdominal haemorrhage, which resolved spontaneously. In spite of rapid and massive removal of ascitic fluid (maximum 2.0 litres per 15 min), significant changes in blood pressure were not noted during EUA. In three patients (hepatic cirrhosis, lupus nephritis, and diabetic nephropathy), de novo production of ascitic fluid disappeared. In one patient with hepatic cirrhosis and chronic renal failure on haemodialysis, 67 sessions of EUA have been performed under stable conditions. Three patients (one case of hepatic cirrhosis and two cases of carcinomatous peritonitis) died of their primary diseases. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that EUA is a useful method for the treatment of massive refractory ascites.

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Subjects: Nephrology

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