What is the first line of therapy for 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

Salt restriction is the first line of therapy. In general, patients begin with a diet containing less than 2000 mg of sodium daily. Some patients with refractory ascites require a diet containing less than 500 mg of sodium daily. However, ensuring that patients do not construct diets that might place them at risk for calorie and protein malnutrition is important. Indeed, the benefit of commercially available liquid nutritional supplements (which often contain moderate amounts of sodium) often exceeds the risk of slightly increasing the patient's salt intake.


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