Ascites and Peritonitis
DOI link for Ascites and Peritonitis
Ascites and Peritonitis book
Ascites is of Greek derivation and refers to a bag or sack. Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity. Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum and peritoneal cavity, usually caused by localized or generalized infection. In the pediatric population, liver and kidney disease are the most frequently encountered etiologies for ascites. The etiologies of ascites are variable and are highly dependent on the age of the patient. The most common cause for ascites in children is portal hypertension resulting from chronic liver disease or, less commonly, obstruction of hepatic vein outflow. The diagnosis of ascites and the underlying etiology and screening for complications of ascites can be accomplished with thorough history gathering, physical examination, imaging studies, and laboratory analysis of the ascitic fluid. At the initial diagnostic paracentesis, fluid can be analyzed to help identify the etiology of the ascites. To detect bacterial peritonitis, a fluid culture is obtained via bedside inoculation of blood culture bottles.