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December 1984

Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis: Exploratory Laparotomy for Peritonitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Schulak, Nghiem, and Corry) and Medicine (Dr Flanigan), The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(12):1400-1404. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390240038007

• We present our experience with performing an exploratory laparotomy for peritonitis in patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Six of 134 patients undergoing CAPD during the study period underwent surgical intervention because of abdominal sepsis. Two patients had bacterial peritonitis without abscess formation or evidence of visceral perforation and they recovered readily and, in retrospect, may not have required an operation. Of the three patients with fungal abscesses, two died of subsequent bacterial sepsis, while one patient survived, albeit after drainage of a recurrent pelvic abscess. One patient died because of extensive intestinal gangrene that was misdiagnosed as CAPD-related peritonitis initially. Our experience with these cases suggests that fungal peritonitis is a life-threatening complication that may result in both formation of an abscess and death. Therefore, it warrants aggressive antifungal chemotherapy and surgical intervention should an abscess be discovered. In contrast, bacterial peritonitis should be treated with appropriate antibiotic regimens until adequate evidence indicating the presence of a surgical condition is obtained.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:1400-1404)