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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MALIGNANT ASCITES

Carcinoma of the stomach and other intra-abdominal tumours, including carcinoma of the colon and ovary, may be associated with the exudation of fluid in to the peritoneal cavity.
 This follows the deposition of malignant cells on the peritoneal surface and is a sign of gross spread of the disease. The fluid is rich in protein an d its sediment contains malignant cells which may be identifiable on microscopy.
Treatment is palliative. Relief of abdominal distension can be obtained by paracentesis, Whilst instillation of an anti mitotic agent such as methotrexate may slow the rate of reaccumulation.

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