Ascites is a pathological accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity due to various etiologies, often associated with renal failure. Paracentesis is a simple method of removing ascitic fluid by inserting a needle into the peritoneal cavity, often performed at the patient’s bedside. It can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Ultrasound imaging allows the diagnosis of ascites, the identification of the puncture site on the abdominal wall during the pre-procedural phase, the real time evaluation of the needle and the continuous course of the maneuver. This eco-guide technique has higher effectiveness and lower risk of complications than the “blind” venipuncture technique. Ultrasound-guided paracentesis, when performed by nephrologists, reduces the waiting time both for the execution of paracentesis and for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of ascites.
Keywords: ascites, paracentesis, ultrasonography, bedside, cirrhosis, peritoneal cavity