Ascites on Liver... please help! I have no idea what this means

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am 34 years old and had an abdominal CT done in December because Ive had a "heavy" feeling on the right side of my abdomen for months. The CT results showed that there is a small amount of

ascites along the caudal tip of the right hepatic lobe but cause is not

shown. I was referred to a Gastroenterologist and met with him a few days ago.  He wants to go an ultrasound to get more info... he didnt seem that concerned, but I am freaking out a little.... I have no idea what could cause this.  I am not able to get an ultrasound until 2/17 and my follow up with the Doctor wont be until mid March because he is going on vacation.  I have been googling what causes ascites and it is causing me to panic even more.  I rarely drink, have never used any IV drugs, do not have Hepatitus... I did smoke daily for about 15 years but have since quit... Please gve me some insight on what you think this could be.  My platelet count was a little low. (128k) and my thyroid levels were also just a little below average.  I have a 3 year old and am so scared of this being cancer or soemthing really bad,  Any advice/thoughts are appreciated...

0 likes, 9 replies

Report / Delete

9 Replies

  • Posted

    I also wanted to add that I am not overweight, do not have high blood pressure (I acutally have low blood pressure) and I exercise 4 days a week, so i dont believe it would be a fatty liver issue
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Ascites is usually found in people with alcoholic liver damage, but there are other causes. It means in laymans terms that the liver is not functioning properly, and a build up of fluid occurs, usually in the stomach area, but also sometimes the ankles, and legs in that proportion.

    The fluid is usually drained off, I had 10 litres drained off about 18 months ago, due to alcohol. Then there is a medication they can put you on, to stop the chances of it happening again.

    If you don't drink, then there must be another cause, which is whe the consultant isn't that bothered.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for your response! If its not alcohol induced, what could be causing this?  The CT showed a "tiny amount" of ascites according to the Dr..
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Your platelet count maybe related to this as well, but only if you have some form of portal hypertension (PHT). Did the CT report indicate your spleen size or if it was enlarged? 11 cm or less would be a normal spleen length. Also, did the report mention your portal vein diameter? A diameter of 14 mm or larger would point to PHT. Also, your hepatic teminal vein diameter is listed on occasion.

    Typically ascites is caused by "weeping" fluid (water) from the surface of your organs. So if the ascites is loculated, like yours is, then that provides a clue as to the source. There are several causes but the primary ones are PHT and malignancy (try not to worry, this is much rarer than PHT). The PHT means that the blood flow is restricted thru the portal vein. This increase in pressire will cause the water within the blood to weep out thru the venule walls.

    If you've been doing any crazy dieting recently that would greatly lower your protien levels, then this can aggravate things too.

    Let us know what you find out. And try not to worry too much, I have ascites myself.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I just re read my CT results and everything (lungs, spleen, liver, pancreas, adrenals,etc) are all of normal size and are not distended. If it is a PHT, what is the prognosis for that? Is it treatable or curable?
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      What is portal hypertension?

      'One consequence of chronic liver disease can be portal hypertension. This is an increase in the blood pressure in the portal vein, which carries the blood from the bowel and spleen to the liver. The pressure in the portal vein may rise because there is a blockage, such as a blood clot, or because the resistance in the liver is increased because of scarring (fibrosis) or cirrhosis. As a result, the pressure in the portal vein rises. This is known as portal hypertension.

      What are bleeding oesophageal varices?

      As the blood tries to find another way back to the heart, new blood vessels open up. Among these vessels are those that run along the wall under the lining of the upper part of the stomach and the lower end of the oesophagus (gullet). These veins protrude into the gullet and the stomach and can bleed. The dilated veins in the gullet are known as varices. Bleeding may be a gentle ooze in which case anaemia is the commonest symptom. Sometimes there can be a major bleed; a person may have a haemorrhage and either vomits blood or passes blood through their bowels. This blood may appear to be black, since it is often changed as it passes through the body.'

      I have/had this as well, especially the bleeding oesophageal varices. I had an endoscopy whilst in hospital.

      I take spironolactone for the ascites and omeprazole for the PHT/bleeding oesophageal varices.

      I had blood tests done today, and my hepatologist, should be seeing me in the next 4 - 6 weeks to check up on the ascites. But mine is all down to alcohol. I would really wait until you hear from the doctor, or can another GP at the surgery not go through the results with you?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, in some cases PHT is curable. I doubt that you are dealing with advanced lover disease. You would have known about this before now from other blood work or symptoms. Another way of causing PHT, other than scarred livers, is by portal vein thrombosis. Think of kinking a garden hose and increasing pressure. And any number of things can cause this blockage, most of which are treatable. But your doctors will have to diagnose you of course, we certainly are not doctors here.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Send me ur email and il sent u something read OK hope it helps
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I wanted to give an update and get your opinions....I had blood work done- a complete metabolic panel and a hepatic function panel- yesterday. I received my results and the only thing that was abnormal is my BUN/Creatin1 ratio. The lab said normal range is 15-24... Mine was a 25, so I'm slightly above normal levels. I am not getting the ultrasound until next week, but after reading some stuff online, i realized that I do have a high protein diet and read that this could contribute to a high BUN/CREA1 level. If it is due to a high protein diet, could that have also caused the ascites on my liver? I know I won't have any definite answers until after the ultrasound, but is it possible that this caused a small amount of ascites on my liver?
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up