Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs.
Spontaneous peritonitis is usually caused by infection of ascites, a collection of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. This usually occurs from liver or kidney failure.
Risk factors for liver disease include excessive alcohol use and other diseases that lead to cirrhosis, such as chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or hepatitis C ).
Spontaneous peritonitis also occurs in patients who are on dialysis for kidney failure.
Other symptoms include:
Tests will be done to check for infection and rule out other causes of abdominal pain:
Treatment depends on the cause of the peritonitis.
You may need to stay in the hospital so health care providers can rule out other causes of peritonitis, such as appendicitis and diverticulitis.
The infection can usually be treated. However, kidney or liver disease may limit recovery.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of peritonitis. This can quickly become an emergency situation.
Patients with peritoneal catheters should be treated with sterile techniques. In cases of liver failure, antibiotics may help prevent peritonitis from coming back.
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP)