Malignant Ascites: Validation of a Novel Ascites Symptom Mini-Scale for Use in Patients with Ovarian Cancer

Ram Eitan*, Oded Raban, Daliah Tsoref, Ariella Jakobson-Setton, Gad Sabah, Lina Salman, Effi Yeoshua, Avi Ben-Haroush

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Ascites is a common finding in patients with ovarian cancer. Paracentesis is a relatively simple, safe, and effective procedure for draining fluid from the peritoneum, but valid quality-of-life tools are needed to determine its subjective value for alleviating symptoms and improving patient quality of life. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the performance of a novel Ascites Symptom Mini-Scale (ASmS) and compare it with a previously available questionnaire. Methods Patients with ovarian cancer-related ascites presenting for paracentesis were asked to complete the newly devised ASmS before the procedure and 1 and 24 hours after. Patients also completed a pain assessment scale and a previously validated ascites questionnaire at the same time points. Results The cohort included 28 patients of median age 68 years (range, 51-86 years), 13 (46.4%) with primary ovarian cancer and 15 with recurrent disease. A median of 3300 mL of ascites was drained. The median score on the ASmS decreased significantly from 21.5 before paracentesis to 11.0 at 1 hour after paracentesis (P < 0.001) and remained low at 24 hours. No demographic factor predicted greater benefit from the procedure. Patients with both mild and severe symptoms reported significant relief. Conclusions The ASmS is a robust quality-of-life tool for the specific assessment of symptoms of ovarian cancer-related malignant ascites. It can be used in the clinical trial setting assessing interventions aimed at treating ascites and in the clinic to identify those patients with mild symptoms, who may benefit from paracentesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1166
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascites
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Paracentesis
  • Quality of life
  • Therapies


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