Plasma-to-ascitic fluid transport rate of albumin in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Relation to intraperitoneal albumin

J H Henriksen, Helmer Ring-Larsen, N A Lassen, H H Parving, K Winkler

4 Citations (Scopus)


Albumin-kinetics and haemodynamic studies were performed in 20 patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis in order to improve the knowledge on genesis and perpetuation of hepatic ascites, especially with respect to determinants of intraperitoneal protein. A positive relationship was found between the plasma-to-peritoneal transport rate of albumin (index of 'lymph-imbalance') and the mass of intraperitoneal albumin (rlog = 0.82, P less than 0.001), indicating a significant role of 'lymph-imbalance' to sequestration of protein in the peritoneal cavity. Ascitic fluid albumin concentration was on the average 0.22 of that of plasma and directly correlated to the plasma concentration (rlin = 0.68, P less than 0.01). The hydrostatic pressure difference across the splanchnic microvasculature (assessed as wedged hepatic vein minus inferior vena caval pressure) was directly correlated to the effective (plasma minus ascitic fluid) oncotic pressure (rlin = 0.74, P less than 0.001) but significantly higher than that (P less than 0.005), indicating a 'non-equilibrium' in the splanchnic Starling forces. The results point to a multivariate genesis and perpetuation of cirrhotic ascites as laid down in the 'lymph-imbalance' theory of ascites formation, whereas a 'fluid equilibrium' theory seems to be too simple, especially with respect to explain protein sequestration in the peritoneal cavity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical physiology (Oxford, England)
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)423-31
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1983


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Albumins
  • Ascites
  • Ascitic Fluid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Kinetics
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Peritoneal Cavity
  • Serum Albumin
  • Splanchnic Circulation


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