Ascites in patients on maintenance hemodialysis: Causes, characteristics and predicting factors

Abbas Ali Tasneem, Asad Ali Khan, Zaigham Abbas, Nasir Hassan Luck, Syed Mujahid Hassan

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Objective: To describe the causes, characteristics and factors associated with ascites in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Study Design: Observational study. Place and Duration of Study: Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi, from November 2007 to November 2014. Methodology: All patients on maintenance hemodialysis and age > 16 years with ascites were included. Frequencies and percentages were computed for different categorical variables. Chi-square or Fischer exact test were used to identify factors associated with ascites like frequency of hemodialysis, serum albumin and cardiac ejection fraction (EF). Odds ratios were calculated for associated factors. Results: Ninety patients were included in this study; 55.5% were males. Median age was 33 years. Cause of ascites was nephrogenic in 77.8%, cardiac failure in 16.7%, hypothyroidism in 6.67%, liver cirrhosis in 4.4%, abdominal tuberculosis in 2.2%, and peritoneal carcinomatosis in 1.1% patients. The ascites was severe in 53.3% patients and severity was associated with serum albumin < 2.8 gm/dL (p=0.007) and cardiac EF < 40% (p=0.028). The ascites was low serum ascites albumin gradient (SAAG), high protein type (LSHP) in 60% patients and associated with hemorrhage (p=0.040). High SAAG, high protein (HSHP) ascites, found in 33.3%, was associated with cardiac EF < 40% (p=0.005) and portal hypertension (p=0.048). High SAAG, low protein (HSLP) ascites, seen in 6.7%, was associated with portal hypertension (p=0.006). Conclusion: The commonest cause of ascites in hemodialysis dependent patients is nephrogenic followed by cardiac failure. Low serum albumin and low cardiac EF predispose to severe forms of ascites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascites
  • Hemodialysis
  • Serum ascites albumin gradient


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