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Related to Acute peritonitis: peritoneum, Acute pancreatitis, acute periodontitis


peritonitis (pĕrˌĭtənīˈtĭs), acute or chronic inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds the internal organs. It is caused by invasion of bacterial agents or irritant foreign matter during rupture of an internal organ, by spreading infection from the female genital tract, by penetrating injuries of the abdominal wall, by dissemination of infections through the blood and lymphatic channels, or by accidental pollution during surgery. Typically, peritonitis is a serious complication of another abdominal disorder, such as appendicitis, ulcers, colitis, or rupture of the gall bladder. Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, prostration, and high fever are predominant symptoms. Treatment includes antibiotic therapy and the identification and elimination of the cause of the infection.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



inflammation of the peritoneum. Peritonitis can result from a variety of diseases and traumas of the abdominal organs, including acute appendicitis, perforating gastric or duodenal ulcers, and intestinal obstructions; it can also develop from surgical complications. The causative agents are either cocci or Escherichia coli; when peritonitis is caused by the latter, for example, in perforating appendicitis or perforation of an intestinal tumor, the course of the inflammation can be very severe.

Depending on the distribution of the inflammatory process, peritonitis can be circumscribed, that is, confined to some portion of the abdominal cavity, or diffuse. The clinical picture of acute abdomen consists of the symptoms of diffuse peritonitis— namely, sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, retention of stools and gases in a condition called adynamic ileus, local or diffuse rigidity of the abdominal muscles, marked tenderness upon palpation of the anterior abdominal wall, and systemic intoxication as evidenced by fever, increased heart rate, and neutrophilic leukocytosis.

Chronic peritonitis, which is usually encountered in tuberculosis, is rare. The exudative form is attended by an accumulation of exudate in the abdominal cavity, while the adhesive form is marked by the appearance of massive adhesions. Serous, purulent, fibrocaseous, and septic peritonites are distinguished according to the type of exudate. Peritonitis is treated surgically and can be prevented by prompt diagnosis and treatment of acute abdominal conditions.


Simonian, K. S. Peritonit. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Inflammation of the peritoneum.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


inflammation of the peritoneum
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Laparoscopic management of acute peritonitis. Br J Surg.
Dialysate fluids (n = 112) were collected from 55 patients, which included both noninfected patients and those presenting with acute peritonitis. When symptoms such as cloudy fluid, fever, abdominal pain, and rebound tenderness were present, diagnosis of peritonitis was suspected; manual PMN counts >100/[mm.sup.3] in the peritoneal dialysis effluent and positive culture proved the diagnosis.
The president underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured colon and acute peritonitis last week while on holiday in the Austrian Alps.
Clostridium difficile colitis municking acute peritonitis. Arch Surg 1985; 120:1321-2.
[1,2,3] Many scoring systems have been developed and used successfully to grade the severity of acute peritonitis like, Acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score, Simplified acute physiology score (SAPS), Sepsis severity score (SSS), Ranson score, Imrie score, Mannheim peritonitis index (MPI).
If patients present with acute symptoms, it is usually secondary to acute intestinal obstruction, acute peritonitis with or without perforation, acute mesenteric lymphadenitis, or acute appendicitis [7].
As the trial began, Heraklion Mixed Criminal Court heard how Chelsea, of Castleford, West Yorkshire, died after she was taken to hospital, where she was found to have acute peritonitis.
Here we report a rare case of acute peritonitis secondary to schistosomal appendicitis.
The trial had heard Brandon suffered acute peritonitis brought on by a ruptured intestine caused by blunt force abdominal trauma.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a post-mortem showed Mrs Caddock died from acute peritonitis caused by her injuries.
He said the cause of death was acute peritonitis due to perforation of the wall of the bowel by a feeding tube, with the baby's multiple malformations being a contributory factor.
Perforation of small bowel leads to chemical and bacterial contamination, which may result in diffuse acute peritonitis. Patients with perforation are most of them usually presents with complaint of pain in abdomen, vomiting, fever and obstipation.