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Tunneled peritoneal catheters for the palliative therapy of malignant ascites
  1. Yvonne Ryan1,
  2. Karen Lyons2,
  3. John Hansen3 and
  4. Aisling O’Gorman4
  1. 1North Eastern General Practice Training Scheme
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
  3. 3Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co. Louth
  4. 4Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co. Louth
  1. Corresponding author: Yvonne Ryan, North Eastern General Practice Training Scheme yvonneryanc{at}


Objective Malignant ascites presents difficult management issues in the palliative care population and results in distressing symptoms and recurrent hospital admissions. The palliative care services in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital have been using radiologically guided tunneled peritoneal catheters for the palliative therapy of troublesome malignant ascites. We conducted a review of this management strategy.

Methods There were 10 catheters inserted in 9 patients between May 2007 and June 2011 in patients with malignant ascites.

Results There were no procedural related mortalities or major complications. Mean catheter life was 98.9 days. Post catheter re-hospitalization rate was 1.55 times per patient. Mean patient survival post insertion was 140 days. Eighty eight percent of patients achieved death at home.

Conclusion We conclude that this is a safe and useful strategy in the management of malignant ascites in a palliative care population.

  • Tunneled peritoneal catheter
  • Palliative therapy
  • Malignant ascites

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