What are chylous ascites?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Chylous ascites, caused by obstruction of the thoracic duct or cisterna chyli, most often is due to malignancy (eg, lymphoma) but occasionally is observed postoperatively and following radiation injury. Chylous ascites also may be observed in the setting of cirrhosis. The triglyceride concentration of the ascites is greater than 110 mg/dL and greater than that observed in plasma. Patients should be placed on a low-fat diet that is supplemented with medium-chain triglycerides. Treatment with diuretics and large-volume paracentesis may be required.


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