Ascites ( /əˈsaɪtiːz/, ə-SYE-teez, from Greek askites, "baglike")[1] is a gastroenterological term for an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. The medical condition is also known as peritoneal cavity fluid, peritoneal fluid excess, hydroperitoneum or more archaically as abdominal dropsy. Although most commonly due to cirrhosis and severe liver disease, its presence can portend other significant medical problems. Diagnosis of the cause is usually with blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the abdomen, and direct removal of the fluid by needle or paracentesis (which may also be therapeutic). Treatment may be with medication (diuretics), paracentesis, or other treatments directed at the cause.

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