Spontaneous peritoneal drainage following paracentesis in a hospitalized patient with resolution of type 1 hepatorenal syndrome


      The hepatorenal syndrome develops in a small percentage of patients with advanced liver disease. The pathogenesis involves intravascular volume contraction secondary to pooling of blood in the splanchnic vessels, stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone pathway, and increased intra-abdominal pressure secondary to the formation of large volumes of ascitic fluid. The treatment options are limited, and liver transplant is the only definitive form of management. Here we suggest an alternative approach to treating hepatorenal syndrome based on the unexpected continuous peritoneal drainage in a 36-year-old man hospitalized with hepatic encephalopathy and hepatorenal syndrome. A total of 11.2 L ascitic fluid drained over 5 days from a paracentesis puncture site with marked improvement in renal function; the creatinine decreased from 3.3 mg/dL to 0.7 mg/dL and the BUN decreased from 42 mg/dL to 10 mg/dL. The discussion with this case report summarizes the pathogenesis, including the effect of intra-abdominal pressure, of the hepatorenal syndrome, outlines medical management, and makes a proposal for clinical study based on this case.


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