Abdominal paracentesis contraindications (mnemonic)

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 9 Aug 2021

A mnemonic to remember the contraindications to abdominal paracentesis is:



  • C: coagulopathy (INR >2.0) 
  • A: abdominal wall cellulitis
  • P: pregnancy
  • S: surgical abdomen (absolute contraindication) / severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <50 x 103/μL)
  • I: intra-abdominal adhesions / ileus (massive)
  • D: distension of urinary bladder

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