Ascites (Greek askites, derived from askos “bag, bladder”) is defined as an abnormal amount of intraperitoneal fluid. (See the image below.) The condition has been recognized since antiquity. Ascites may consist of transudates (thin, low protein count, and low specific gravity) or exudates (high protein count and high specific gravity). The etiology of ascites may differ among neonates and older children. The precise incidence of ascites in children is unknown, but the condition is rare.