This site is intended for healthcare professionals

2264 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 21/4/2021)

2264 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 21/4/2021)


Medical search

peritonitis

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

Peritonitis is defined as inflammation of the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneal cavity includes an extensive serous membrane that covers the entire abdominal wall and is reflected over the contained viscera, the greater and lesser omentum, and the transverse mesocolon.

In early peritoneal inflammation, the condition is often localised because of containment of the affected area by surrounding structures e.g. omentum, adjacent bowel and fibrinous adhesions. However, this may not be sufficient to contain the inflammation and a condition that initially presented with localised peritonitis may eventually develop into generalised peritonitis. Precipitating factors include abrupt contamination, as occurs with penetrating wounds, continuing contamination from a large bowel defect, the bursting of a localised abscess, or the secondary infection of ascitic fluid.

Last reviewed 01/2018

Links: