What are the signs and symptoms 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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A broad range of signs and symptoms are seen in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). A high index of suspicion must be maintained when caring for patients with ascites, particularly those with acute clinical deterioration. As many as 30% of patients are completely asymptomatic. Manifestations of SBP may include the following:

  • Fever and chills (as many as 80% of patients)

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort (found in as many as 70% of patients)

  • Worsening or unexplained encephalopathy

  • Diarrhea

  • Ascites that does not improve following administration of diuretic medication

  • Worsening or new-onset renal failure

  • Ileus

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