Ascites is the most frequent cirrhosis complication, often requiring hospitalisation, which leads to the debilitating condition called refractory ascites, associated with intense pain and breathlessness. Without a liver transplant, patients with refractory ascites have an average life expectancy of between 6-12 months. The most common intervention for refractory ascites is hospitalisation every 10-14 days for palliative large volume paracentesis (LVP). This involves an abdominal drain inserted for up to six hours, removing 5-15 litres of fluid alongside administration of intravenous human albumin solution.
The study will compare an alternative intervention, insertion of a palliative tunnelled long-term abdominal drain (Group 1 intervention - LTAD), to standard of care large volume paracentesis (Group 2 intervention - LVP) in the management of refractory ascites.
Recruitment target: 310