Chylous ascites: case report of a rare presentation of blunt
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Chylous ascites is the accumulation of a milk-like peritoneal fluid rich in triglycerides, due to the presence of intestinal lymph in the abdominal cavity. The most common causes of chylous acites in adults are abdominal malignancy and cirrhosis. Very few cases of chylous ascites associated with blunt abdominal trauma have been published in the literature.

A 27-year-old, female patient was admitted to the emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain due to a deceleration-type traffic accident. During surveillance, the patient presented a progressive decrease in hemoglobin levels and an increase in free intra-abdominal fluid detected on computed tomography scan. The patient underwent an exploratory laparoscopy and a milky-looking peritoneal fluid was identified. The diagnosis of chylous ascites was confirmed by the determination of increased triglyceride levels in the peritoneal fluid. A low-fat diet, with a restriction of long-chain triglycerides, was started in the post-operative period and the patient presented a progressive decrease in abdominal drainage. The patient had a favorable clinical and analytical evolution and was discharged on the fifth postoperative day.

Chylous ascites is an uncommon finding in trauma. Although surgery may be indicated in selected patients, conservative treatment can be effective in most patients, with or without abdominal drainage. A high-protein and low-fat diet, with medium-chain triglycerides, is the indicated dietary regimen to decrease the amount of lymphatic fluid produced.

Chylous ascites, although rare in trauma patients must be considered in the differential diagnosis of free peritoneal fluid. Conservative treatment should be considered in the majority of cases reserving invasive treatments for specific situations.

Source:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210261220311639?dgcid=rss_sd_all
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