What is the role of peritoneal fluid in peritonitis and abdominal sepsis?

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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Normally, the amount of peritoneal fluid present is less than 50 mL, and only small volumes are transferred across the considerable surface area in a steady state each day. The peritoneal fluid represents a plasma ultrafiltrate, with electrolyte and solute concentrations similar to that of neighboring interstitial spaces and a protein content of less than 30 g/L, mainly albumin. In addition, peritoneal fluid contains small numbers of desquamated mesothelial cells and various numbers and morphologies of migrating immune cells (reference range is < 300 cells/μ L, predominantly of mononuclear morphology).

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