The International Club of Ascites (initially termed International Ascites Club) was founded in Florence, Italy on November 30, 1990 during an international liver meeting organized by Professor Paolo Gentilini. The rationale to create a club of experts dedicated to ascites in liver diseases originated from the need for guidelines and the need for imputs to stimulate research aimed at improving the care of patients with portal hypertension and ascites. Cirrhosis and ascites are complex conditions and physicians need expertise in hepatology as well as kidney physiology, systemic and splanchnic hemodynamics, cardiopulmonary function, electrolyte disorders, infections and transplant medicine. The founders drew up few simple rules. The main purposes of the club were to organize biannual meetings on ascites and related issues, to stimulate research in ascites, to improve terminology, to provide definitions of ascites and its complications and to propose standard rules for high quality clinical trials.
During its almost 30-year history, the International Club of Ascites has organized a number of meetings on different issues. The activity of the International Club of ascites resulted in consensus reports and highly cited expert’s opinion papers that are now recognized as references in the field, all published in high quality journals. Large international observational studies have also been conducted on behalf of the International Club of Ascites resulting in original publications.
A major strength of the ICA it that it brings together experts from Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia allowing to cover a larger geographic area and to highlight geographic disparities and differences.
Past secretaries of the ICA:
G Laffi, Italy
P Gines, Spain
K Moore, UK
F Wong, Canada
F Salerno, Italy
S Lee, Canada
P Angeli, Italy
The ICA is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting research and education in the field of decompensated cirrhosis with ascites. The objective is to identify targets to improve quality of life and survival in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and ascites.
The current committee (2019) is the following:
François Durand, MD: Secretary & Treasurer
Hepatology & Liver Intensive Care
Hospital Beaujon, Clichy, France
University of Paris, INSERM U1149
Rakhi Maiwall, MD, DM: Vice Secretary
Department of Hepatology
Institute of Liver & Biliary Sciences New Delhi,
Dr. Virendra Singh
MD(Med) DM (Gastroenterology)
Professor and Head,
Department of Hepatology,
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (India)
Adrian Gadano, MD: Committee member
Liver Unit, Hospital Italiano
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sumeet K. Asrani, MD, MSc: Committee member
Baylor University Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, United States
Mitra K. Nadim, MD, FASN: Committee member, Special Consultant for Nephrology
Division of Nephrology & Hypertension
University of Southern California
California, United States
Nazia Selzner, MD: Committee member
Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Salvatore Piano, MD: Committee member
Unit of Internal Medicine and Hepatology
Department of Medicine, University of Padova
The scope of the International Club of Ascites covers cirrhosis, ascites and corresponding mechanisms or complications:
Sepsis and inflammatory response
Cardiovascular dysfunction in cirrhosis
Kidney dysfunction and kidney changes in cirrhosis
Portal hypertension and GUT microbiota
The main objective of the International Club of Ascites is to improve knowledge in the mechanisms involved in ascites in cirrhosis, improve quality of life and improve survival.
Secondary objectives include:
To establish and update consensual definitions of ascites and its complications to help standardization in scientific research.
To match definitions of non-hepatic complications of cirrhosis to those previously established by scientific societies for other organs (kidney, heart and circulatory system, lung…).
To improve knowledge in bacterial and fungal infections in decompensated cirrhosis.
To improve knowledge in dysfunction of organs other than the liver in decompensated cirrhosis and ascites and the impact of organ dysfunction on prognosis.
To establish better prognostic scores in cirrhosis and ascites.
To initiate and promote multicenter prospective cohort studies involving specialized centers in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia.
To promote education in end stage liver diseases.
To produce high level scientific publications.
To stimulate interactions with pharmaceutical/devices industry.
Membership to the club will be open to everyone who has scientific interest in ascites, sodium and water retention, renal dysfunction in liver disease, circulatory dysfunction, infections in cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure. Applications will be sent thorough the website and validated by the International Club of Ascites committee.
The members of the committee include one Secretary-Treasurer, one vice secretary, 5 Scientific Committee Members, two from Europe, two from North America, one from Latin America, one from Asia and a special committee member expert in Nephrology. The treasurer can also be an additional member chosen among the members of the previous committees.
The secretary and each of the scientific committee members are elected by the general assembly for a 4-year term.
The organizational location of the club would be the secretary’s office.
The secretary and a local committee member will be responsible for the organization of each meeting. The secretary and the scientific committee members will be the responsible for the scientific program.
Joint meetings with the EASL and the APASL will be organized on a yearly basis during the EASL and APASL meetings, respectively. The ICA committee members will propose speakers representative of the International Club of Ascites.
Specific International Club of Ascites meetings will be organized at regular intervals. The topics and location will be decided by the committee.
Willing to participate to the studies promoted by the International Club of Ascites will be mainly based on authorship. Participating centers will not receive grants directly from the International Club of Ascites.