Peritonitis

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Peritonitis may be acute or chronic.
Inflammation of the peritoneal cavity (peritonitis) may be acute or chronic. Acute peritonitis is
most commonly caused by extension of inflammatory processes in the abdominal cavity particularly
after perforation of the gut.
Less commonly, peritonitis may be a primary infection, seen in
patients with nephrotic syndrome and cirrhosis.

Peritonitis may be localized by adherent loops of bowel and adherence of the omentum. Organization
of fibrinous adhesion by granulation tissue leads to adhesions by fibrous tissue. Localization
of infection in the peritoneal cavity may form local abscesses, particularly in the paracolic
gutters and beneath the diaphragm (subphrenic abscesses).

Chronic peritonitis may be caused by infection with tuberculosis. Granulomatous inflammation
leads to organization and fibrosis, with adhesions between bowel loops (plastic peritonitis).
In patients treated by ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, there may be a chronic, low-grade peritonitis
caused by a mixed flora of organisms.
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