Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis

Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

  • SBP is an infectious complication of portal hypertension–related ascites defined as >250 neutrophils/μL in the ascites fluid.
  • Bacterascites is defined as culture-positive ascites in the presence of normal neutrophil counts (<250 neutrophils/μL) in the ascites fluid. This condition may be spontaneously reversible or the first step in the development of SBP. In the presence of signs or symptoms of infection, bacterascites should be treated like SBP.
  • Risk factors for SBP include ascites fluid protein concentration <1 mg/dL, acute GI bleeding, and a prior episode of SBP.

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