Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, San Lazaro Hospital, Manila, PHL. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ManilaMed - Medical Center Manila, Manila, PHL. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, TWN. Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, Baltimore, USA. Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, TWN.
This study aims to analyze the patient profile and presentation of endometriosis-related hemorrhagic ascites and review its management to raise awareness among gynecologists and improve treatment strategies. We present a case report and engage in a systematic review involving human cases of histologically proven endometriosis with hemorrhagic ascites. Keywords were searched in PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and Ovid Discovery databases
from inception until December 2018. Studies that did not include a description of ascites or histopathologic results confirming endometriosis or those that involved patients with other conditions that may contribute to ascites were excluded. The review yielded 73 articles describing 84 premenopausal women with histologically proven endometriosis-related hemorrhagic ascites. Of note, 83% (65/78) of the patients were nulliparous and 69.35% (43/62) were of African descent. The most common chief complaint was abdominal enlargement (58.33%, 49/84) but a host of other symptoms were also reported. Pleural effusion was reported in 32.14% (27/84), and elevated CA-125 was seen in 74.42% (32/43). The majority (64.29%, 54/84) of the patients underwent laparotomy, and an increasing trend of minimally invasive surgical approaches (p<0.001) and fertility-sparing techniques (p<0.001) was observed. The mean ascites volume was 4228.27 mL (SD: 2625.66). Moderate to severe endometriosis was seen in 97.44% (76/78) of cases. The majority of the patients who received medical treatment were given gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists (63.79%, 37/58). The rate of recurrence after termination or suppression of ovarian function was 8.33% (7/84), and there was a mortality rate of 1.19% (1/84). Diagnosis of endometriosis-related hemorrhagic ascites may be challenging because it mimics several disease entities that cause ascites, thereby warranting a heightened clinical suspicion. Minimally invasive techniques are usually employed to establish a histologic diagnosis. The prevention of recurrence involves the recognition of endometriosis-related hemorrhagic ascites as a manifestation of severe endometriosis, which should prompt therapies directed at suppressing ovarian function. Since affected women are of childbearing age, ovary-preserving surgeries are generally preferred. The rate of recurrence is low after appropriate surgical and medical interventions.