Ascites Albumin Gradient Calculator

Determines the difference between serum and ascites albumin to find ascites cause.

You can read more about the SAAG and its interpretation in the text below the tool.

The ascites albumin gradient represents the difference between serum and ascites albumin and can be used to determine the cause of ascites and in diagnosis of conditions pertaining to internal medicine such as portal hypertension.

SAAG can retrieve the etiology of ascites and comes to replace the classic methods of the transudate and exudates.

Any SAAG >1.1 g/dL is considered high and indicates portal hypertension and a nonperitoneal cause of ascites.

Any SAAG <1.1 g/dL is consistent with nonportal hypertension and a peritoneal cause of ascites.

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Ascites Albumin:*
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Steps on how to print your input & results:

1. Fill in the calculator/tool with your values and/or your answer choices and press Calculate.

2. Then you can click on the Print button to open a PDF in a separate window with the inputs and results. You can further save the PDF or print it.

Please note that once you have closed the PDF you need to click on the Calculate button before you try opening it again, otherwise the input and/or results may not appear in the pdf.



The serum ascites albumin gradient is computed through the following formula:

SAAG = Serum Albumin – Ascites Albumin

The ascites albumin gradient calculator requires three variables: the serum and ascites albumin values, which can be input in several measurement units (g/dL, g/L, mcg/dL) and the desired measurement unit for SAAG.

Normal serum albumin levels are between 3.4 – 5.4 g/dL. Ascites is the name given to the pathological collection of fluid within the abdominal cavity, such as that present in the case of cirrhosis.


High ascites albumin gradient

A high gradient (SAAG >1.1 g/dL) is indicative for a nonperitoneal cause of ascites that is due to portal hypertension. This occurs in conditions such as:

■ Cirrhosis;

■ Hepatic vein obstruction;

■ Fulminant hepatic failure;

■ Protein-losing enteropathy;

■ Congestive heart failure;

■ Veno-occlusive disease;

■ Nephrotic syndrome;

■ Biliary or pancreatic ascites;

■ Ovarian malignancy;

■ Trauma.



A low gradient (SAAG <1.1 g/dL) is consistent with nonportal hypertension and may suggest a peritoneal cause of ascites. This is characteristic for the following conditions:

■ Pancreatitis;

■ Primary peritoneal mesothelioma;

■ Endometriosis;

■ Nephrotic syndrome;

■ Secondary peritoneal carcinomatosis;

■ Tuberculosis;

■ Systemic lupus erythematosus;

■ Fungal and parasitic infections;

■ Serositis;

■ Eosinophilic gastroenteritis.



1. Hou W, Sanyal AJ. Ascites: diagnosis and management. Med Clin North Am. 2009; 93(4):801-17.

2. Younas M, Sattar A, Hashim R, Ijaz A, Dilawar M, Manzoor SM, Ali A, Khan FA. Role of serum-ascites albumin gradient in differential diagnosis of ascites. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2012; 24(3-4):97-9.

Specialty: Gastroenterology

System: Digestive

Objective: Determination

Type: Calculator

No. Of Variables: 3

Abbreviation: SAAG

Article By: Denise Nedea

Published On: April 12, 2017 · 03:17 PM

Last Checked: April 12, 2017

Next Review: April 12, 2023