Scarring or damage to the liver as a result of hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis or a history of excessive alcohol consumption may cause fluid to build up in the abdomen, a condition also known as ascites, explains Healthline. Cancer that has metastasized to the liver and pancreatic and ovary cancers are other possible causes, according to eMedicineHealth.
Certain disorders related to the pancreas can cause fluid build-up in the abdomen, reports eMedicineHealth. For example, fluid may build up as a result of an inflammatory response in the pancreas. When the pancreas has chronic inflammation, this may also lead to malnutrition and ascites.
Tumors on the ovary may lead to fluid build up in the abdomen, notes eMedicineHealth. A fibroma, a benign tumor on the ovaries as a result of Meigs syndrome, and anovarian tumors both can cause fluid leaks that eventually lead to ascites.
When the heart fails, fluid is no longer properly pumping through the blood vessels, and it ends up backing up into the lungs and other organs, explains eMedicineHealth. The excess fluids may leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to ascites.
When blood clots block the flow of blood from the liver in the small or large veins, such as the inferior vena cava, this leads to a disorder called Budd-Chiari syndrome, according to Merck Manual. One of the possible symptoms associated with Budd-Chiari syndrome is the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.