|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topSecondary peritonitis
Definition Return to top
Secondary peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the tissue lining the abdominal cavity. Secondary means it is due to another condition, most commonly the spread of an infection from the digestive tract.
Causes Return to top
Secondary peritonitis has several major causes. Bacteria may enter the peritoneum through a hole (perforation) in the gastrointestinal tract. Such a hole may be caused by a ruptured appendix, stomach ulcer, perforated colon, or injury, such as a gunshot or knife wound.
Secondary peritonitis can also occur when bile or chemicals released by the pancreas (pancreatic enzymes) leak into the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Foreign contaminants can also cause secondary peritonitis if they get into the peritoneal cavity. This can occur during use of peritoneal dialysis catheters.
Inflammation of the peritoneal cavity caused by bacteria can result in infection of the bloodstream (sepsis) and severe illness.
Secondary peritonitis can also affect premature babies who have necrotizing enterocolitis.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Vital signs may be abnormal with fever, rapid heart rate and breathing, and low blood pressure.
Tests may include:
Treatment Return to top
Surgery is usually necessary to remove sources of infection such as an infected bowel, inflamed appendix, or abscess.
General treatment includes:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outcome depends on the underlying cause, the duration of symptoms before treatment, and the general health of the patient. Outcomes can range from complete recovery to overwhelming infection and death, depending on these factors.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of peritonitis. This is a serious condition that typically requires emergency medical treatment.
References Return to top
Turnage RH, Richardson KA, Li BD, McDonald JC. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2008:chap 43.Update Date: 7/23/2008 Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.