Encyclopedia of Intensive Care Medicine

2012 Edition
| Editors: Jean-Louis Vincent, Jesse B. Hall

Abdominal Cavity Infections

  • Jan J. De WaeleEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-00418-6_2



“Abdominal cavity infection” or “intra-abdominal infection” usually refers to infections that spread to the peritoneum, the virtual space between the visceral and parietal peritoneum, and that usually originate from the gastrointestinal tract. They should be discerned from intra-abdominal solid organ infections, although these also may lead to peritonitis.

Peritonitis can be classified based on the origin (primary, secondary, and tertiary peritonitis) as well as on the extent of the process (localized or diffuse peritonitis).

In primary peritonitis, no evident source can be identified, and no anatomical disruption of the gastrointestinal tract is present; this includes spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (which is a typical complication in patients with liver cirrhosis and is considered to be the consequence of bacterial translocation through the bowel wall) continuous ambulatory...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium