What are causes of peritonitis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Peritonitis is most often caused by introduction of an infection into the otherwise sterile peritoneal environment through organ perforation, but it may also result from other irritants, such as foreign bodies, bile from a perforated gall bladder or a lacerated liver, or gastric acid from a perforated ulcer. Women also experience localized peritonitis from an infected fallopian tube or a ruptured ovarian cyst. Patients may present with an acute or insidious onset of symptoms, limited and mild disease, or systemic and severe disease with septic shock. (See Etiology.)


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