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(pĕr'ĭtənī`tĭs), acute or chronic inflammation of the peritoneumperitoneum
, multilayered membrane which lines the abdominal cavity, and supports and covers the organs within it. The part of the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity is called the parietal peritoneum.
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, 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Postoperative complications included bleeding 0.5% (liver bed n=1 omentum n=1) biliary peritonitis due to cystic duct leak 0.25% (n=1) intra-abdominal collection/abscess 0.5% (biloma n=1 subphrenic abscess n=1) subcutaneous fat necrosis right flank around drain site 0.25% (n=1) umbilical trocar site infection 2% (n=8) keloid at umbilical port site 0.25% (n=1) and incisional hernia at umbilicus 0.25% (n=1) as shown in fig.
The most frequent serious postoperative complications are prolonged persistence of a residual cystic cavity, cystic cavity infections, biliary peritonitis, and biliary fistulas.
Inadequate management of bile duct injuries led to severe complications, such as biliary peritonitis leading to sepsis and multiple organ failure in early phase, and biliary cirrhosis during long-term follow-ups, and eventually the need for liver transplantation [19].
Biliary peritonitis was seen in 0.3% of cases in this series where as Cawich SO et al22 found this problem in 2.02% of cases which is higher than this study.
A number of life-threatening complications can result from acute cholangitis including: sepsis leading to multiorgan failure, hepatic abscesses, acute suppurative cholangitis, portal vein thrombosis and biliary peritonitis. (5)
Twenty (62.50%) patients had biloma and 12 (37.50%) had biliary leak revealed either through drains placed during the initial surgery or biliary peritonitis. Nine (28.13%) patients presented with biliary strictures which were confirmed through ERCP and MRCP.