Learn About Secondary Peritonitis

What is the definition of Secondary Peritonitis?

The peritoneum is the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the organs in the abdomen. Peritonitis is present when this tissue becomes inflamed or infected. Secondary peritonitis is when another condition is the cause.

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What are the alternative names for Secondary Peritonitis?

Secondary peritonitis

What are the causes of Secondary Peritonitis?

Secondary peritonitis has several major causes.

  • Bacteria may enter the peritoneum through a hole (perforation) in an organ of the digestive tract. The hole may be caused by a ruptured appendix, stomach ulcer, or perforated colon. It may also come from an injury, such as a gunshot or knife wound or following the ingestion of a sharp foreign body.
  • Bile or chemicals released by the pancreas may leak into the abdominal cavity. This may be caused by swelling and inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis.
  • Tubes or catheters placed into the abdomen may cause this problem. These include catheters for peritoneal dialysis, feeding tubes, and others.

An infection of the bloodstream (sepsis) may lead to an infection in the abdomen also. This is a severe illness.

This tissue may become infected when there is no clear cause.

Necrotizing enterocolitis occurs when the lining of the intestinal wall dies and can lead to peritonitis. This problem nearly always develops in an infant who is ill or born early.

What are the symptoms of Secondary Peritonitis?

Symptoms include:

  • Swollen abdomen when your belly area is bigger than usual
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Low urine output
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Vomiting

Note: There may be signs of shock.

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What are the current treatments for Secondary Peritonitis?

Often, surgery is needed to remove or treat sources of infection. These may be an infected bowel, an inflamed appendix, or an abscess or perforated diverticulum, usually due to diverticulitis.

General treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics
  • Fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Pain medicines
  • Tube through the nose into the stomach or intestine (nasogastric or NG tube)
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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Secondary Peritonitis?

The outcome can range from complete recovery to overwhelming infection and death. Factors that determine the outcome include:

  • How long the symptoms were present before treatment began
  • The person's general health
What are the possible complications of Secondary Peritonitis?

Complications may include:

  • Abscess
  • Gangrene (dead) bowel requiring surgery
  • Intraperitoneal adhesions (a potential cause of future bowel blockage)
  • Septic shock
When should I contact a medical professional for Secondary Peritonitis?

Contact your provider if you have symptoms of peritonitis. This is a serious condition. It needs emergency treatment in most cases.

Peritoneal sample
What are the latest Secondary 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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Clinical and Molecular Evaluation of Childern With Familial Meditterranean Fever and Their Siblings

Summary: Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF ,recurrent polyserositis ,periodic disease) is an autosomal recessive auto inflammatory disease which primarily affect population surrounding the Mediterranean basin (Arabs , Turks ,Armenians, Jews ).Despite its striking symptoms pattern FMF was first described as distinct entity only in 1945. It is characterized by recurrent attacks of fever , peritonitis ,pleuri...

What are the Latest Advances for Secondary Peritonitis?
Sclerosing mesenteritis due to Mycobacterium genavense infection: A case report.
Paediatric patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia treated with evolocumab for 80 weeks (HAUSER-OLE): a single-arm, multicentre, open-label extension of HAUSER-RCT.
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Peritoneal dialysis in children: Infectious and mechanical complications: Experience of a tertiary hospital in Elazığ, Turkey.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: May 04, 2022
Published By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Mathews JB, Turaga K. Surgical peritonitis and other diseases of the peritoneum, mesentery, omentum, and diaphragm. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 39.

Privratsky AM, Barreto JC, Turnage RH, Mizell J, Badgwell B. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 44.