What is the mortality rate of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP)?

Updated: Nov 26, 2018
  • Author: Thomas E Green, DO, MPH, MMM, CPE, FACEP, FACOEP; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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The mortality rate in patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis ranges from 40-70% in adult patients with cirrhosis. Rates are lower in children with nephrosis. Patients with concurrent renal insufficiency have been shown to be at a higher risk of mortality from spontaneous bacterial peritonitis than those without concurrent renal insufficiency. Mortality from spontaneous bacterial peritonitis may be decreasing among all subgroups of patients because of advances in its diagnosis and treatment. In addition, nonselective beta-blockers increase the risk for hepatorenal syndrome and death in patients with cirrhosis and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. [10]

Growing evidence supports early diagnostic paracentesis (defined as occurring within the first 11 hours of presentation). This, combined with early antibiotic treatment, leads to decreased ICU and hospital length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and 3-month mortality. [11, 12]

The mortality rate exceeds 80% in patients with cirrhosis who develop septic shock secondary to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. In addition, each hour of delay in appropriate antimicrobial therapy increases the in-hospital mortality rate by 1.86 times. [13]

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