BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the role of
transabdominal ultrasonography in characterizing and
determining the etiology of ascites in comparison with laboratory
ascitic fluid analysis and other methods used to establish the final
diagnosis.
METHODS: A prospective descriptive study was conducted on 61
patients with ascites attending outpatient department (OPD) or
admitted to wards of Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital (TASH)
and referred to radiology department for imaging from June 2017
to November 2017. Data were collected following the
internationally recommended scanning technique in consecutive
bases. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. The
comparison of ultrasound and laboratory findings with final
clinical diagnosis was analyzed using Chi-square test (X 2 ).
RESULTS: Of 61 patients with ascites enrolled in this study,
females were 35(57.4%) with age range of 16 to 75 and mean age
of 43.2±14.11. The cause of ascites was established in 59 cases
using a combination of clinical, pathological, imaging evidences
and tumor markers. However there were two cases who had ascites
with indeterminate cause. US suggested the diagnosis in
54(91.5%) patients. Excluding mixed and indeterminate cases,
ultrasound characterized ascites correctly as exudate and
transudate in 95% cases.
CONCLUSION: Ultrasound has significant accuracy to
distinguish transudate and exudate ascites and in suggesting the
underlying cause. It can be a valuable method of investigation of
ascites in places where CT and MRI are not available, and it is the
best complement for laboratory investigations on ascites in
suggesting the etiology based on ascitic fluid texture and ancillary
findings.
KEYWORDS:
ultrasound,
ascites
etiology,
ascites
characterization, SAAG, disease categories

Published: 2019-05-28