Which age groups are at highest risk for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP)?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021
  • Author: Thomas E Green, DO, MPH, CPE, MMM, FACEP, FACOEP; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Although the etiology and incidence of hepatic failure differ between children and adults, in those individuals with ascites, the incidence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis is roughly equal. Two peak ages for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis are characteristic in children: the first in the neonatal period and the second at age 5 years.

According to a 2015 study by Ge and Runyon, when the initial infection was spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, subsequent infections were more likely to be caused by drug-resistant organisms. The risk of subsequent infections was increased in older patients and in patients taking proton-pump-inhibitors (PPIs) or spontaneous bacterial peritonitis prophylaxis (ie, selective intestinal decontamination). [9]

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