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Role of the body mass index in the genesis of ascites in ovarian cancer: a forensic case and review of the literature
  1. Isabella Aquila1,
  2. Pietrantonio Ricci1,
  3. Alessandra Oliverio1 and
  4. Santo Gratteri2
  1. 1 Institute of Legale Medicine, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy
  2. 2 Institute of Legal Medicine, AO MaterDomini Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Isabella Aquila, isabella.aquila{at}


The ovarian tumour is the seventh female cancer for incidence. In the advanced stages of cancer, tumour cells nourish on the peritoneal serous causing carcinomatosis and peritoneal function abnormalities with liquid build-up inside it. Ascites from peritoneal carcinomatosis is common in patients with ovarian cancer. An obese woman suffering from ovarian cancer was found dead in her home from secondary cardio-respiratory arrest due to Multiple Organ Failure (MOF). An autopsy was performed. The abdominal incision showed an ascitic fluid outflow about 20 litres in volume and a flood about one metre and half. An association between obesity and intraperitoneal fluid volume secondary to peritoneal carcinomatosis has been demonstrated. This finding could improve the prognosis of patients through actions aimed to reduce body weight.

  • carcinogenesis
  • cervical screening
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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors We want to evidence the role of each author in the realisation of this paper. IA is the forensic pathologist and the official responsible of the case. She performed the autopsy, conceived the idea and managed the whole realisation of the paper. SG and AO have contributed through the writing of the paper. PR performed the autopsy with IA and managed with her the realisation of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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