Serum ascites albumin gradient

The serum–ascites albumin gradient (SAAG) is the difference between the concurrently obtained serum albumin concentration and the albumin concentration of the ascitic fluid obtained during paracentesis


A difference ≥1.1 grams/deciliter (g/dL) indicates portal hypertension as the likely etiology, whereas a gradient which is <1.1 g/dL implies an etiology that causes increased vascular permeability in the portal system.

Differential diagnosis

A (partial) differential diagnosis of potential etiology, based on the SAAG, is as follows 2:

Article information

rID: 66981
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Serum–ascites albumin gradient (SAAG)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: pancreatic ascites
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  • Case 2: tuberculous peritonitis
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