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:
Peritonitis is a serious condition. It requires immediate treatment. If not promptly treated, it can be fatal.
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Factors that may increase your chances of peritonitis:
Peritonitis may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on the cause. It may include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent peritonitis.
American College of Gastroenterology
American Gastroenterological Association
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
Bacterial peritonitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115066/Bacterial-peritonitis. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2017.
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Updated May 2016. Accessed October 3, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 9/4/2020