Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers and supports most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis is usually caused by infection from bacteria or fungi.


  • Poor appetite 
  • Nausea 
  • Dull abdominal ache that quickly turns into persistent, severe abdominal pain, which is worsened by any movement.
  • Abdominal tenderness or distention
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Not passing any urine, or passing significantly less urine than usual
  • Difficulty passing gas or having a bowel movement
  • Vomiting


  • spontaneous peritonitis: when  infection develops in the peritoneum
  • secondary peritonitis, when an injury or infection in the abdominal cavity allows infectious organisms into the peritoneum.
  • Both types of peritonitis are life-threatening.

Common causes of secondary peritonitis include:

  • A ruptured appendix, diverticulum, or stomach ulcer
  • Digestive diseases such as Crohn's disease and diverticulitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Perforations of the bowel, stomach, intestine, gallbladder, or appendix
  • Surgery
  • Trauma to the abdomen, such as an injury from a knife or gunshot wound

Noninfectious causes of peritonitis include irritants such as bile, blood, or foreign substances in the abdomen, such as barium.