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Definition of Peritonitis, acute

Peritonitis, acute: Sudden inflammation of the peritoneum that results in abrupt abdominal pain (acute abdomen). The most serious causes of acute peritonitis include perforation of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, gallbladder, bile duct, bowel, appendix, colon, rectum, and bladder; trauma; intestinal obstruction; pancreatitis; vascular catastrophes (mesenteric thrombosis or embolism); and as an infectious complication of peritoneal dialysis and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=21317
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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