A fatal complication of ultrasound-guided abdominal paracentesis

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Ultrasound-guided abdominal paracentesis is a procedure that is frequently performed by radiologists for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This procedure has been shown to be safe with few complications. We report the case of a patient who underwent an ultrasound-guided therapeutic abdominal paracentesis for refractory ascites complicated by intraperitoneal hemorrhage leading to death. This case suggests that ultrasound-guided paracentesis may need to become a more standardized procedure and that in the event of hemorrhage, alternative treatment options such as embolization or surgical intervention should be utilized when manual compression fails. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Ultrasound41:457–460, 2013;

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