What is the prevalence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP)?

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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Once thought to occur only in those individuals with alcoholic cirrhosis, SBP is known to affect patients with cirrhosis from any cause. In patients with ascites, the prevalence may be as high as 18%. This number has grown from 8% over the past two decades, most likely secondary to an increased awareness of SBP and heightened threshold to perform diagnostic paracentesis.

Although the etiology and incidence of hepatic failure differ between children and adults, in those individuals with ascites, the incidence of SBP is roughly equal. Two peak ages for SBP are characteristic in children: one in the neonatal period and the other at age 5 years.

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