Autoimmune Ascites Responding to Mycophenolate Mofetil: A Case Report

Douglas A. Simonetto, Hala Fatima, Folkert Zijlstra, Michael K. Zijlstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ascites is an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity. The most common cause of ascites in the United States population is portal hypertension secondary to cirrhosis, accounting for about 80% of the cases. Other etiologies include malignancy, heart failure, tuberculosis, and pancreatic disease. After an extensive literature review, it is to our best knowledge that there have been no cases reported on autoimmune ascites. We present an interesting case of ascites in a 67-year-old Caucasian male with symptoms of recurrent abdominal distention and significant weight gain, refractory to standard therapies. An extensive 3-year long workup was only significant for serum-ascites albumin gradient > 1.1 g/dL, ascitic fluid protein of 3.0 g/dL, and peritoneal biopsies showing minor inflammatory changes. Both common and rare causes of ascites were ruled out. Empiric treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) resulted in resolution of symptoms with no need for a repeat paracentesis for > 2 years, suggesting the diagnosis of autoimmune ascites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalCase Reports in Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Ascites
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Mycophenolate mofetil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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