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Conditions

Infections and Inflammations

An infection is the condition of multiplication of parasitic organisms or microorganisms
within the body. An inflammation is the reactions that occur in the affected blood
vessels and adjacent tissues in response to an injury or abnormal stimulation caused by a physical, chemical, or biologic agent. Many people use the terms interchangeably since they have several symptoms in common and usually are treated similarly.

Appendicitis :: Pancreatitis :: Hepatitis :: Cholecystitis
Oesophagitis :: Peritonitis

Peritonitis

Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines
the wall of the abdomen and covers the abdominal organs.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Types of peritonitis include:

  • Spontaneous Peritonitis - an infection that occurs as a complication of
    ascites (a collection of fluid in the peritoneal cavity), which is usually
    related to liver or kidney failure.
  • Secondary Peritonitis - , caused by another condition, most commonly the
    spread of an infection from the digestive organs or bowels.
  • Dialysis associated Peritonitis - , This is an acute or chronic inflammation
    (irritation and swelling) of the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity)
    that occurs in people receiving peritoneal dialysis.

Intra-abdominal abscess (abdominal abscess). This condition involves a
collection of pus in the abdomen and may cause peritonitis. Before peritonitis
develops, it can still cause symptoms that are similar or identical to peritonitis.

  • An intra-abdominal abscess may arise following:
  • Localisation of peritonitis
  • Gastrointestinal perforation
  • Anastomotic leak
  • Haematogenous (bloodstream) spread
  • They develop in sites of gravitational drainage
  • Pelvis
  • Subhepatic spaces
  • Subphrenic spaces
  • Paracolic gutters

Symptoms   

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain, which increases on movement.
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Abdominal distension
  • Fever
  • Low urine output
  • Point tenderness
  • Thirst
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Inability to pass faeces gas
  • Signs of shock in extreme cases.

Diagnoses

  • Physical examination and medical history.
  • Blood tests including blood culture and X-rays or CT scans may be ordered.
  • Peritoneal fluid analysis( paracentesis) & culture

Treatment    

The cause must be identified and treated promptly.

Treatment typically involves fluid infusion to control shock, surgery to drain the
peritoneal cavity and repair the cause, and antibiotics to deal with the infection.
In cases associated with peritoneal dialysis, antibiotics may be infused through
the dialysis catheter, but if the infection is severe, the catheter itself must often
be removed.

Treatment typically involves surgery and antibiotics. In cases associated
with peritoneal dialysis, antibiotics may be infused through the dialysis
catheter, but if the infection is severe, the catheter itself must often be removed.

Course of illness

The outcome is often good with treatment, but can be poor without treatment.
Sometimes the outcome is poor even with prompt and adequate treatment.

Complications    

Peritonitis can be life-threatening and cause a number of different complications,
depending on the type.

Complications may include

•  Peritonitis stops the movement of bowel contents (peristalsis), which can
block the bowel (paralytic ileus).

•  Septic shock - Fluid from the blood accumulates in the abdominal cavity
and the loss of fluid from the circulation may also cause shock.

•  Abscess

•  Intraperitoneal adhesions

What you should do?

Go to the Hospital emergency or call the local emergency number (such
as 000, for Australia) if you have symptoms that may indicate peritonitis,
as it is a medical emergency.

 

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ANZGOSA - Australia & New Zealand Gastric & Oesophageal Surgery Association Your Practice Online