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Original Article Ascitic Fluid Analysis for the Differentiation of Malignancy-Related and Nonmalignant Ascites.
Eun Young Lee, Byeoung Deok Kim, Jae Hyuk Choi, Sang Yeop Lee, Hun Mo Ryu, Kyung Hee Lee, Myung Soo Hyun
Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science 1999;16(1):76-84
Published online: June 30, 1999
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Department of Internal Medicine Yeungnam University, College of Medicine, Taegu, Korea.

The differentiation between Malignancy-Related Ascites(MRA) and Non-Malignant Ascites (NMA) is important for further diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Althought many parameters were investigated, none has provided a complete distinction between MRA and NMA. We investigated several ascitic fluid parameters to determine the differential power, and to ifferentiate malignant-related from nonmalignant-related ascites with a sequence of sensitive parameters followed by specific parameters. For the present sturdy, 80 patients with ascites were divided into two groups: MRA and NMA. The MRA group was consisted of 27 patients with proven malignancy by image study, biopsy, and follow up; 21 of these patients had peritoneal carcinomatosis, but the remaining 6 showed no evidence of peritoneal carcinomatosis. The NMA group was consisted of 53 patients with no evidence of malignancy; among these patients, one had SLE, and others had liver cirrhosis. The samples of blood and ascites were obtained simultaneously, and then the levels of ascites cholesterol, CEA, protein, LDH, cytology, albumin gradient, ascites/serum concentration ratios of LDH(LDH A/S), and ascites/serum concentration ratios of protein(protein A/S) were measured. Applying cut-off limits for determined parameters, we estimated the diagnostic efficacy of each parameter. Among the eight parameters investigated, ascites fluid cholesterol yielded the best sensitive value of 93%(cut-off value 30mg/dl), and cytologic examination and the protein A/S(cut-off value 0.5) showed the most specific value of 100% and 96%, respectively. Based on the above result, the diagnostic sequence with cholesterol as a sensitive parameter, followed by the combination of cytologic examination and protein A/S as specific parameters, was tested in 80 patients. This diagnostic sequence identified 81.5% of patients with malignancy, and all patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis were classified as malignancy-related ascites. In spite of many limitations, this proposed diagnostic sequence may permit a cost-effective and simple differentiation of malignacy-related ascites from nonmalignant ascites

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JYMS : Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science