Home-based, tunnelled peritoneal drainage system as an alternative treatment option for patients with refractory ascites.
Summary: This study evaluated the safety of home-based, tunneled peritoneal drainage in the treatment of patients with refractory ascites (fluid in abdomen).
Conclusion: In patients with refractory ascites (fluid in abdomen), treatment with home-based, tunneled peritoneal drainage may have complications.
Background: Onset of refractory ascites is the hallmark of end-stage liver disease. If liver transplantation (LTx) is not available and contraindications for a transjugular portosystemic shunt (TIPS) are present, repeated paracentesis remains the standard of care (SOC). Home-based, tunnelled peritoneal catheters (PeCa) have been suggested as an alternative treatment option. However, data on patients with cirrhosis are scarce. Aim: To evaluate the safety of PeCa in these patients compared to SOC.
Methods: Overall, 223 patients with cirrhosis, a contraindication for TIPS and refractory ascites were included in this retrospective study. PeCa implant was performed in 152 patients, whereas 71 were treated with SOC. Analysed end points included device explant-free survival, mortality, acute kidney injury (AKI) and hyponatraemia. In the second approach, propensity score matching (PPSM) was performed to adjust for confounding factors.
Results: In patients with PeCa, median device explant-free survival was 74 days and 52 explants were recorded within the first 90 days. Within 90 days, patients with PeCa had lower mortality than SOC (p = 0.11), and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) incidence did not differ (p = 0.82). Regarding AKI and hyponatraemia, there was a trend towards a higher incidence in the PeCa group (p = 0.13 and p = 0.08), and the risk for rehospitalisation was higher in those with a PeCa (HR: 2.11, p = 0.04). After PPSM, mortality was lower in the PeCa group (HR:0.40; p = 0.03), whereas the incidence of SBP and hyponatraemia was comparable (p = 0.80 and p = 0.28) and AKI was more frequent in those with a PeCa (p = 0.08).
Conclusion: The implant of PeCa allows home-based therapy of patients with cirrhosis and refractory ascites and a contraindication for TIPS. However, the risk for complications has to be considered and prospective studies are needed.