| Risk Factors
Peritonitis is an inflammation or infection of the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a thin tissue lining that covers the inside of the abdominal cavity. It also covers the outside of the intestines and other abdominal organs.
There are several types:
- Peritoneal dialysis-related
Peritonitis is a serious condition. It requires immediate treatment. If not promptly treated, it can be fatal.
Primary peritonitis—occurs when there is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. This is called
ascites. It is caused by chronic liver disease, among other conditions.
- Secondary peritonitis—caused by bacteria that enter the abdominal cavity. Can be due to an injury or a condition, such as a ruptured appendix.
Dialysis-related peritonitis—caused by bacteria that enter the peritoneal cavity during or after peritoneal
(a treatment for kidney disease).
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A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors for peritonitis include:
Symptoms may include:
- Severe pain or tenderness in the abdomen
- Pain in the abdomen that is worse with motion
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid pulse or breathing rate
Dehydration—signs include dry skin and lips, decreased urine production
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Tests may include:
- Blood tests
- Analysis of fluids from the peritoneum
x-rays—to look for signs of inflammation
Laparotomy—surgery to open and examine the abdomen
Treatment depends on the cause. It may include:
- Surgery to repair openings in the skin surface or to remove damaged tissue
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Replacement of fluids
If you are diagnosed with peritonitis, follow your doctor's
There are no guidelines for preventing peritonitis.