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Cirrhosis Complications: Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis

Topic Overview

People who have cirrhosis are at risk for an infection in the fluid (ascites) that builds up in the abdominal cavity. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is an infection of ascitic fluid that occurs without warning or a clear cause. SBP most often occurs when a person has had cirrhosis for a long time.

SBP infection is treated with antibiotics such as cefotaxime (Claforan). These medicines can kill bacteria usually found in the intestine. Your doctor may do a procedure called paracentesis to collect a sample of fluid from the abdomen. The fluid can be analyzed to find out which antibiotic will work best to kill the bacteria causing the infection.

Most people who are treated with antibiotics recover from the infection.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Last Revised January 17, 2012

Last Revised: January 17, 2012

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