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Jpn J Surg. 1991 May;21(3):272-7.

Generalized peritonitis in India--the tropical spectrum.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


Generalized peritonitis is a common surgical emergency in India, the 'Tropical Spectrum' of generalized peritonitis being different from the western spectrum. A total 155 cases of generalized peritonitis were surgically treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences between 1981 and 1987, all patients undergoing peritoneal toilet with drainage after the cause of their peritonitis had been treated. The most common cause of peritonitis was peptic ulcer perforation, with simple closure being associated with a 2 per cent mortality, while typhoid perforation was the second most common cause. The diagnosis was clinical, supported by the operative findings of a terminal ileal perforation while bacteriological, serological and histopathological confirmation was retrospective. Appendicular perforations were less common than in the west but the clinical picture was the same. Tubercular perforations were not uncommon with a previous history of subacute intestinal obstruction and evidence of tuberculosis on chest X-ray suggesting the diagnosis. Ruptured amebic liver abscess was the most common hepatobiliary cause of generalized peritonitis with drainage of the abscess producing good results. The average hospital stay was 15 days with an overall mortality of 8 per cent.

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