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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 438-440

Chylous Ascites

Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan State University Internal Medicine Residency Program, McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint, Michigan, USA

Correspondence Address:
Siva K Talluri
Clinical assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan State University Internal Medicine residency program, McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint, Michigan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22362456

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Context: Chylous ascites is the accumulation of milky chyle in the peritoneal cavity. Chylous ascites has been reported after surgeries like abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, radical gastrectomy, duodenectomy, nephrectomy and Wilm's tumor resection. Our literature search did not reveal any reports of chylous ascites after a gastric ulcer resection. We report about an elderly woman with a rare complication of chylous ascites after an emergent surgery for a perforated gastric ulcer. Case Report : A 70-year-old woman developed sudden respiratory distress on 5 th post-operative day after an elective C3-C7 cervical discectomy and fusion. Her past medical history was significant for cervical spondylosis. The Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the chest revealed air under the diaphragm suspicious for hollow viscus perforation. She underwent an emergent surgery for drainage of hematoma in the neck along with an emergent laparotomy to repair a large perforated gastric ulcer distal to the gastro-esophageal junction. The patient had worsening of abdominal distention on 4 th post-operative day. The CT scan of abdomen showed fluid collection in the abdomen. The abdominal drain revealed large amount of serous milky fluid at the rate of 1500 ml per day. The fluid analysis showed that the triglyceride level was 170 mg/dl and cholesterol level was 15 mg/dl. The fluid cultures did not grow any organism. She responded to treatment with octreotide and a diet of medium chain triglyceride oil. Conclusion: Any obstruction or damage to the lymphatic channels results in chylous ascites. Lymphomas, metastatic malignancies, and abdominal surgeries commonly cause chylous ascites. Ascitic fluid triglyceride level greater than 110 mg/dl is diagnostic of chylous ascites. Chylous ascites is a rare complication of a peptic ulcer resection which can be managed effectively with octreotide.

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