Paracentesis Questions & Answers

Updated: May 16, 2022
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Vikram Kate, MBBS, MS, PhD, FACS, FACG, FRCS, FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Glasg), FFST(Ed), FIMSA, MAMS, MASCRS  more...
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Questions & Answers


What is paracentesis?

How is serum-ascitic albumin gradient (SAAG) used to differentiate ascites in paracentesis results?

What are the possible etiologies of transudative ascites?

What are the possible etiologies of exudative ascites?

How are different types of ascites differentiated in paracentesis results?

Which patients are at increased risk for infection of ascitic fluid without intra-abdominal infection?

How is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) diagnosed following paracentesis?

What are the indications for diagnostic paracentesis?

What are the indications for a therapeutic paracentesis?

When is abdominal paracentesis drainage indicated?

What is the indication for a large-volume paracentesis?

What are the contraindications for paracentesis?

When is fresh frozen plasma (FFP) indicated prior to paracentesis?

When is platelet infusion indicated prior to paracentesis?

Which lab testing is indicated prior to paracentesis?

What is the overall complication rate of paracentesis?

Which lab tests are performed in the evaluation of fluid from paracentesis?

How is a diagnostic paracentesis tap performed?

How is a therapeutic paracentesis tap performed?

Which clinical signs can be used to rule out SBP?

How is risk of puncture site persistent leaks minimized in paracentesis?

Are Gram stain results effective for detecting SBP following paracentesis?

What is the role of the ascites index in the evaluation of patients who've had a paracentesis ?

Is paracentesis effective for symptomatic relief of refractory ascites in advanced stages of cancer?

Can albumin reduce adverse effects of paracentesis in patients with cirrhosis?

How is a persistent leak following paracentesis treated?

When is postparacentesis hypotension and how is it prevented?

What is the optimal timing of paracentesis in patients with suspected SBP?

What are the benefits of ultrasound guidance in performing a paracentesis?

Periprocedural Care

What education about paracentesis should a patient receive prior to giving informed consent?

What equipment is used in paracentesis?

How is local anesthesia used in paracentesis?

How should patients be positioned for paracentesis?

What are the possible abdominal wall entries for paracentesis?

What is the role of ultrasonography in paracentesis?


How is an ultrasound-assisted paracentesis performed?

How is ascitic fluid aspirated from the peritoneal cavity during paracentesis?

Is there an effective alternative to the use of evacuated glass bottles in paracentesis?

How is occlusion in the catheter corrected during paracentesis?

What are possible complications of paracentesis?

What is the major complication rate of paracentesis?