Abdominal ascites is most commonly caused by portal hypertension from liver cirrhosis. When present, portal hypertension is associated with an elevated serum-ascites albumin gradient (SAAG) ≥1.1 g/dL. In contrast, a SAAG < 1.1 g/dL suggests malignancy, tuberculosis, pancreatitis, or nephrotic syndrome. Here, we present a case of low SAAG ascites caused by epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma in a woman with no known liver disease. The diagnosis proved elusive until diagnostic laparoscopy with biopsy was performed.
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