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Aetiology of generalised peritonitis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Generalised peritonitis can be caused by the following:

  • any cause of localised peritonitis if left for long enough
  • perforation of a viscus causing generalised peritoneal irritation, e.g. stomach, colon, gall bladder, enzymatic discharge in acute pancreatitis
  • chemical peritonitis may be caused by any foreign substance introduced into the peritoneum, for example talcum powder from operating gloves
  • spreading intraperitoneal infection, e.g. faecal contamination following bowel perforation, rupture of an intra-abdominal abscess, anastomotic leak, trauma, surgery

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