Learn About Peritonitis

What is the definition of Peritonitis?

Peritonitis is an inflammation (irritation) of the peritoneum. This is the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs.

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What are the alternative names for Peritonitis?

Acute abdomen; Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis; SBP; Cirrhosis - spontaneous peritonitis

What are the causes of Peritonitis?

Peritonitis is caused by a collection of blood, body fluids, or pus in the belly (abdomen).

One type is called spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SPP). It occurs in people with ascites. Ascites is the buildup of fluid in the space between the lining of the abdomen and the organs. This problem is found in people with long-term liver damage, certain cancers, and heart failure.

Peritonitis may be a result of other problems. This is known as secondary peritonitis. Problems that may lead to this type of peritonitis include:

  • Trauma or wounds to the belly
  • Ruptured appendix
  • Ruptured diverticula
  • Infection after any surgery in the belly
What are the symptoms of Peritonitis?

The belly is very painful or tender. The pain may become worse when the belly is touched or when you move.

Your belly may look or feel bloated. This is called abdominal distention.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Passing little or no stools or gas
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Passing less urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
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What are the current treatments for Peritonitis?

The cause must be identified and treated right away. Treatment typically involves surgery, antibiotics, or both.

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What are the possible complications of Peritonitis?

Peritonitis can be life threatening and may cause complications. These depend on the type of peritonitis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Peritonitis?

Go to the emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number if you have symptoms of peritonitis.

Peritoneal sample
Abdominal organs
What are the latest Peritonitis Clinical Trials?
A Prospective Clinical Study to Assess the Clinical Utility of Turbidity With the CloudCath System in Patients Using In-Home Peritoneal Dialysis

Summary: This study aims to determine if the CloudCath device can detect infections related to peritoneal dialysis (peritonitis) as fast or faster than the current standard methods used by patients and doctors to detect such infections.

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The Effect of Intraoperative Peritoneal Lavage With Super-Oxidized Solution on Surgical Site Infections and Mortality in Patients With Secondary Peritonitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Summary: Secondary peritonitis is a frequent abdominal emergency that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality rate due to surgical site infections (SSI) and sepsis. Early surgical source control is crucial to avoid sepsis and worse outcomes. The current randomized controlled trial aims to investigate the effect of peritoneal lavage with super-oxidized solution (SOS) on SSI and mortality in ...

What are the Latest Advances for Peritonitis?
A Strategy of Treatment for Perforated Gastric Cancer.
A case of unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma receiving sustainable pembrolizumab therapy.
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Safety and feasibility of primary radical surgery for meconium peritonitis considering patients' general condition and perioperative findings.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: February 28, 2022
Published By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery Practice Specializing in Breast Cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Bush LM, Levison ME. Peritonitis and intraperitoneal abscesses. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 74.

Kuemmerle JF. Inflammatory and anatomic diseases of the intestine, peritoneum, mesentery, and omentum. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 133.