The loss of the omental and subcutaneous fat that occurs at an early period of the complaint gives the skin of the abdomen a loose appearance, as though it were too voluminous, and in stout persons who have wasted rapidly linese atrophicae may often be observed in the hypogastrium and the flanks. . General distension is usually a sign of ascites, but occasionally it ensues from gaseous inflation of the intestine owing to obstruction of the colon.