What are the signs and symptoms 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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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. Completely asymptomatic cases have been reported in as many as 30% of patients.

Fever and chills occur in as many as 80% of patients. Abdominal pain or discomfort is found in as many as 70% of patients.

Other signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • 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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