Ascitic fluid lipid profile and albumin level

Many diseases are complicated by the accumulation of free fluid within the peritoneal cavity (ascites). The most common cause of ascites is liver cirrhosis, but in about 20 percent of cases there is an extrahepatic cause1. Serum ascites albumin gradient (SAAG) has been suggested to categorize ascites better than either the total protein concentration or other parameters2-4 . If the SAAG is 1.1 g/dL or greater the patient is considered to have portal hypertension. Conversely if the SAAG is <1.1 the patient is unlikely to have portal hypertension. Several studies have proved a higher cholesterol gradient in ascites of patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis5-7. Like SAAG, serum ascites lipid gradient (SALG) is also a subtraction of serum and ascitic fluid values of lipid fractions, But till now only one study has been published on the significance of SALG in the differential diagnosis of ascites of different causes8.


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