Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs.The main manifestations of peritonitis are acute abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness and abdominal guarding, which are exacerbated by moving the peritoneum, e.g., coughing. Peritonitis may be localized or generalized, and may result from infection (often due to rupture of a hollow abdominal organ as may occur in abdominal trauma or inflamed appendix) or from a non-infectious process. The overall incidence of peritoneal infection and abscess varies with the underlying abdominal disease processes. SBP occurs in both children and adults and is a complication of cirrhosis. In patients with ascites, the prevalence may be as high as 18%. This number has grown from 8% over the past 2 decades. Two peak ages for SBP are characteristic in children: one in the neonatal period and the other at age 5 years.
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