What is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) in cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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SBP is observed in 15-26% of patients hospitalized with ascites. The syndrome arises most commonly in patients whose low-protein ascites (< 1 g/dL) contains low levels of complement, resulting in decreased opsonic activity. SBP appears to be caused by the translocation of gastrointestinal (GI) tract bacteria across the gut wall and also by the hematogenous spread of bacteria. The most common causative organisms are Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella species, and other gram-negative enteric organisms. [14]

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