What findings on CT scanning are characteristic of secondary peritonitis (SP)?

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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In abscess formation subsequent to secondary peritonitis (SP), approximately half of patients have a simple abscess without loculation, and the other half have complex abscesses secondary to fibrinous septation and organization of the abscess material. Abscess formation occurs most frequently in the subhepatic area, the pelvis, and the paracolic gutters, but it may also occur in the perisplenic area, the lesser sac, and between small bowel loops and their mesentery.

Peritoneal abscesses and other fluid collections may be aspirated for diagnosis and drained under CT guidance; this technique has become a mainstay of therapy.

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