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What causes peritonitis?

In spontaneous peritonitis, fluid that has built up in the abdomen becomes infected. The infection leads to abdominal membranes, called the peritoneum, becoming inflamed. The infection and inflammation produce the symptoms of peritonitis.

The infection might originate from contaminated dialysis equipment or bacteria from other parts of the body that grow in excess abdominal fluid. The excess fluid (also called ascites) can also come from injuries or illnesses such as cirrhosis (liver disease) or kidney disease.

Secondary peritonitis may  be caused by a wound (like a knife or gunshot wound), a perforated colon, a stomach ulcer, or a ruptured appendix.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.