The club was founded in Florence, Italy on November 30, 1990 during an international liver meeting organized by Professor Paolo Gentilini. The reason to found a club of experts in this complication of portal hypertension originated from the peculiarity of the expertise doctors who treat patients with ascites must have. They are experts in hepatology as well as in kidney physiology, hemodynamics, electrolyte disorders, infections, cardiopulmonary function and “transplant medicine”. The founders drew up few simple rules. The main purposes of the club were to organize meetings on ascites and related issues, to stimulate the research in ascites, to improve terminology, to define the pathological events related to ascites, and to produce standard rules for high quality clinical trials. The original name of the Club was “International Ascites Club”. Since November 2005 the name of the club has been changed to: International Club of Ascites (ICA) where the word “ascites” is an acronimus for:






End-Stage liver failure

During its 20-year history, the ICA organized 20 meetings on different issues. This led to 9 publications reporting the results (2 appeared in Hepatology, 2 in Journal of Hepatology, 2 in Gut, 1 and 2 in Liver Int.). These papers allowed for better definition of different phenomena (i.e. refractory ascites, renal dysfunction, hepatorenal syndrome, bacterial peritonitis and other bacterial infections, and hyponatremia,).

Dates, locations, and topics of the twenty meetings:

1. Wien, September 1992: International Club of Ascites (ICA)-European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) Joint Meeting on Pathophysiology of ascites. Diagnosis and treatment of ascites.

2. Chicago, November 1994: ICA-American Association for the Study of the Liver (AASLD) Joint Meeting on Endothelium-derived vasoactive substances and liver disease. Definition of refractory ascites and hepatorenal syndrome.

3. Geneva, August 1996: ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Water retention in cirrhosis. Pathophysiology and treatment.

4. Lisboa, April 1998: ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Treatment and prevention of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhosis.

5. Dallas, November 1999: ICA-AASLD Joint Meeting on The treatment of ascites.

6. Prague, April 2001: ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Hepatorenal syndrome.

7. Boston, November 2002: ICA-AASLD Joint Meeting on Sepsis in cirrhosis.

8. Berlin, April 2004: ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy and its potential role in the hemodynamic and sodium handling abnormalities of cirrhosis.

9. San Francisco, November 2005: Focused Study Group on diagnosis and treatment of hepatorenal


10. Barcelona, April 2007, ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Hyponatremia in Cirrhosis

11 Isla Margarita  September 2008, ICA-ALEH (Latin-American Association for Study of Liver) Joint Meeting on Complications of cirrhosis

12 Copenaghen April 2009, ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on Bacterial infections in cirrhosis

13. Lillihamer, (Norway) February 2009, ICA Conference on Complications of cirrhosis

14. Beijing 2010, ICA-Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APALS): Joint Meeting on Renal dysfunction in cirrhosis

15. San Francisco 2010, ICA-AASLD Joint Research Workshop on Biomarker discovery for renal dysfunction in cirrhosis

16 Bangkok February 2011, ICA-APALS  Meeting on Hyponatremia in cirrhosis

17. Berlin 2011, ICA-EASL Joint Meeting:  Renal Dysfunction in cirrhosis in the era of AKI: towards a new definition

18. Taipei February 2012 ICA-APALS on Bacterial infections  in cirrhosis

19. Lima, September 2012 ICA-ALEH Joint Meeting on Bacterial infections in cirrhosis

20. Padova-Venice, December 2012, ICA Workshop on the management of renal dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis.

Peer-reviewed publications:

1. Arroyo V, Ginés P, Gerbes A, Dudley FJ, Gentilini P, Laffi G, Reynolds TB, Ring-Larsen H, Scholmerich J. Definition and diagnostic criteria of refractory ascites and hepatorenal syndrome in cirrhosis. International Ascites Club. Hepatology 1996;23:164-76.

2. Ginés P, Berl T, Bernardi M, Bichet G, Hamon G, Jimenez W, Liard JF, Martin PY, Schrier RW. Hyponatremia in cirrhosis: from pathogenesis to treatment. Hepatology 1998;28:851-64.

3. Rimola A, Garcia-Tsao G, Navasa M, Piddock LJ, Bernard B, Inadomi JM. Diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: a consensus document. International Ascites Club. J Hepatol 2000;32:142-53.

4. Moore KP, Wong F, Gines P, Bernardi M, Ochs A, Salerno F, Angeli P, Porayko M, Moreau R, Garcia-Tsao G, Jimenez W, Planas R, Arroyo V. The management of ascites in cirrhosis: report on the consensus conference of the international ascites club. Hepatology 2003;38:258-66.

5. Wong F, Bernardi M, Balk R, Christman B, Moreau R, Garcia-Tsao G, Patch, D, Soriano G, Hoefs J, Navasa M. Sepsis in Cirrhosis – Report on the 7th Meeting of the International Ascites Club. Gut 2005;54:718-725

6. Salerno F, Gerbes A, Ginès P, Wong F, Arroyo V. Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hepatorenal syndrome in cirrhosis. Gut 2007;56:1310-1318.

7. Salerno F, Guevara M, Bernardi M, Moreau R, Wong F, Angeli P, Garcia-Tsao G, Lee SS.Refractory ascites: pathogenesis, definition and therapy of a severe complication in patients with cirrhosis. Liver Int. 2010;30:937-47.

8. Wong F, Nadim MK, Kellum JA, Salerno F, Bellomo R, Gerbes A, Angeli P, et al. Working Party proposal for a revised classification system of renal dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis Gut 2011;60:702-709.

9. Angeli P, Sanyal A, Moller S, Alessandria C, Gadano A, Kim R, Sarin SK, et al. Current limits and future challenges in the management of renal dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis: report from the International Club of Ascites. Liver Int. 2012. (Epub  ahead of print)


Scientific committees since 1990:

1. G. Laffi (secretary, Italy), L. Blendis (Canada), F. Dudley (Australia), A. Gerbes (Germany), H. Ring-Larsen (Denmark), E. Zambranski (US).

2. P. Gines (secretary, Spain), K. Moore (UK), R. Moreau (France), M. Pinzani (Italy), B.A. Runyon (US), F. Wong (Canada).

3. K. Moore (secretary, UK), G. Garcia-Tsao (US), R. Moreau (France), M. Pinzani (Italy), R. Planas (Spain), F. Wong (Canada).

4. F. Wong (secretary, Canada), G. Garcia-Tsao (US), R. Moreau (France), D. Patch (UK), R. Planas (Spain), F. Salerno (Italy).

5. F. Salerno (secretary, Italy), B. Bernard (France), G. Garcia-Tsao (US), M. Guevara (Spain), S. Lee (Canada), R. Terg (Argentina).

6. S. Lee (secretary, Canada), P. Angeli (Italy), A. Sanyal (US), M. Guevara (Spain), S. Moller (Demnark), R. Terg (Argentina).

7. P. Angeli (secretary, Italy), A. Sanyal (US), R. Kim (US), C. Alessandria (Italy), A. Krag (Demnark), A. Gadano (Argentina), S. Sarin (India)

Next perspectives

The scientific committee of the International Club of Ascites is now involved in the preparation of the ICA-APALS Joint Meeting in Singapore on March 9th 2013, and ICA-EASL Joint Meeting on April 24th 2013 in Amsterdam.

Another challenge for the committee is to formalize the Club in a Scientific Association with a constitution.