JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Emergency Management of Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis - A Clinical Review.

Curēus 2018 March 2
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) has a high mortality rate; early antimicrobial therapy is essential for improving patient outcomes. Given that cirrhotic patients are often coagulopathic, the perceived risk of bleeding may prevent providers from performing a paracentesis and ruling out this potentially deadly disease. We examine the pathophysiology and risk factors for SBP, and current guidelines for its diagnosis and treatment. We then review the time-sensitive nature of performing a paracentesis, and the current controversies and contraindications for performing this procedure in patients at risk for SBP. Cirrhotic patients with ascites and clinical suspicion for SBP-abdominal pain or tenderness, fever or altered mental status-should have a diagnostic paracentesis. Although most patients with cirrhosis and liver dysfunction will have prolonged prothrombin time, paracentesis is not contraindicated. Limited data support platelet administration prior to paracentesis if <40,000-50,000/μL. Timely antimicrobial therapy includes a third-generation cephalosporin for community-acquired infection; nosocomial infections should be treated empirically with a carbapenem or with piperacillin-tazobactam, or based on local susceptibility testing. Patients with gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage should receive ceftriaxone prophylactically for GI hemorrhage. SBP has a high mortality rate. Early diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy are essential for improving patient outcomes. Cirrhotic patients with ascites with clinical suspicion for SBP, abdominal pain or tenderness, altered mental status or fever should have a diagnostic paracentesis performed prior to admission unless platelets <40,000-50,000/μL.

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