DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ascites. Side view of a 76-year-old man's distended abdomen, showing the condition of ascites. The abdomen is severely swollen with fluid. The fluid has collected in the peritoneal cavity between the internal organs and the abdominal wall. As well as abdominal discomfort, ascites can cause breathing problems due to pressure on the diaphragm. Ascites occurs in many different conditions including liver cirrhosis and heart or kidney failure. This patient was suffering from cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer of the bile duct. Treatment of ascites may include diuretic drugs, fluid and salt restriction, and sometimes drainage of the fluid.
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