Jüngst, Dieter; Gerbes, Alexander L.; Martin, Robert; Paumgartner, Gustav
Value of Ascitic Lipids in the Differentiation between Cirrhotic and Malignant Ascites.
In: Hepatology, Vol. 6: pp. 239-243
Ascitic fluid concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids, were compared with ascitic fluid total protein in 40 patients with chronic liver disease, 51patients with various neoplasms and 1 patient with cardiac failure. Seven patients withboth chronic liver disease and malignancy were considered separately. The first 54 patients (23 cirrhotic and 31 with malignancy) were used to determine median values and ranges and to define the most suitable cutoff concentrations between both groups. Median values for cholesterol (75 mg per dl), phospholipids (0.79 mmole per liter), triglycerides (75 mg per dl) and protein (3.8 gm per dl)were higher in malignant ascites compared to ascitic fluid concentrations of cholesterol (20 mg per dl), phospholipids (0.33 mmole per liter), triglycerides (51 mg per dl) and protein (1.9 gm per dl) in patients withcirrhosis. The best discrimination values were 48 mg per dl for cholesterol, 0.6 mmole per liter for phospholipids, 65 mg per dl for triglycerides and 2.5 gm per dl for protein. Application of these cutoff points to 38 subsequent patients (17 cirrhotic, 1 with cardiac failure and 20 with malignancy) revealed an efficiency of 86.8% for cholesterol, 86.8% for phospholipids, 68.4% for triglycerides and 79.0% for protein. From the data of all 92 patients, an efficiency of 92.3% forcholesterol, 79.4% for phospholipids, 72.8% for triglycerides and 79.4% for protein was calculated.
We conclude that ascitic fluid cholesterol determination offers an excellent, cost-effective discrimination of ascites due to cirrhosis vs. ascites caused by malignancies.