Pancreatic Ascites Managed With a Conservative Approach

A Case Report

Raju Bhandari; Rajan Chamlagain; Saraswati Bhattarai; Eric H. Tischler; Rajesh Mandal; Ramesh Singh Bhandari


J Med Case Reports. 2020;14(154) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Pancreatic ascites refers to the massive accumulation of pancreatic fluid in the peritoneal cavity and is a rare entity. Chronic alcoholic pancreatitis is the most common cause. Ascites is commonly seen in patients with alcoholic liver disease and is usually a consequence of portal hypertension. Biliary pancreatitis, pancreatic trauma and cystic duplications of biliopancreatic ducts, ampullary stenosis, or ductal lithiasis are the remaining causes.

Case Presentation: A 53-year-old Chhetri man, a chronic alcoholic, presented with epigastric pain and abdominal distension. He had made several previous visits to a local hospital within the past 6 months for a similar presentation. Serum alkaline phosphatase 248 IU/L, serum amylase 1301 IU/L, and lipase 1311 IU/L were elevated while serum calcium was decreased (1.5 mmol/l). Ascitic fluid amylase was elevated (2801 IU/L). A computed tomography scan of his abdomen revealed features suggestive of acute-on-chronic pancreatitis. The case was managed with a conservative approach withholding oral feedings, starting total parenteral nutrition, paracentesis, octreotide, and pigtail drainage.

Conclusion: Pancreatic ascites is a rare entity. Diagnosis is suspected with raised ascitic fluid amylase in the presence of pancreatic disease. Such cases can be managed by conservative approach or interventional approach. We managed this case through a conservative approach.