Peritonitis is inflammation of the localized or generalized peritoneum, the lining of the inner wall of the abdomen and cover of the abdominal organs. Symptoms may include severe pain, swelling of the abdomen, fever, or weight loss. One part or the entire abdomen may be tender. Complications may include shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Causes include perforation of the intestinal tract, pancreatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, stomach ulcer, cirrhosis, a ruptured appendix or even a perforated gallbladder. Risk factors include ascites (the abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen) and peritoneal dialysis. Diagnosis is generally based on examination, blood tests, and medical imaging.
Treatment often includes antibiotics, intravenous fluids, pain medication, and surgery. Other measures may include a nasogastric tube or blood transfusion. Without t