SINCE sodium excretion is greatly reduced in cirrhotic patients forming ascitic fluid1 and the formation of ascitic fluid has been shown to be directly proportional to sodium intake,2 a logical plan of therapeutic management might include consideration of this factor.
We have studied the influence of restricted sodium intake on the clinical course of ascites in patients with Laennec's cirrhosis. All the patients presented a clearcut picture of the disease, with ascites as a prominent feature.
During a control period the patients received a high protein, high carbohydrate, low fat diet without salt restriction. In addition, during their period of hospitalization they received supplementary vitamins, methionine and liver extract intramuscularly. After the control period a special diet was instituted, consisting of 3,400 calories and containing 135 Gm. of protein and 605 mg. of sodium. Records were kept of the daily weight fluid intake and output and urinary chloride