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J Formos Med Assoc. 2009 Apr;108(4):293-300. doi: 10.1016/S0929-6646(09)60069-3.

Aeromonas spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: a highly fatal infectious disease in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis.

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Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Medical College, Tainan, Taiwan.



Aeromonas infections, rarely reported in Western countries, are not uncommon infectious diseases in Taiwan. The clinical manifestations and prognostic factors of Aeromonas spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) in patients with liver cirrhosis were investigated.


We reviewed the medical charts and microbiological records of liver cirrhosis patients with Aeromonas SBP between January 1990 and December 2005, in a medical center in southern Taiwan.


Thirty-one liver cirrhosis patients developed Aeromonas SBP within a 16-year period. The majority (26, 84%) had concurrent Aeromonas bacteremia. A. sobria (55%) and A. hydrophila (45%) were the causative species. The predominant clinical manifestations included fever (84%), abdominal pain (74%), hypotension on admission (48%), altered mental status (45%), and acute renal failure (42%). Gram-negative bacilli were found in Gram staining of ascitic fluids in 27% of 26 patients, while aeromonads were isolated from ascitic fluids in 55% of 31 patients. The yield rate of ascitic fluid cultures decreased greatly, if paracentesis was performed at > 3 hours after the administration of antimicrobial therapy. All but one patient received in-vitro-active antimicrobial agents within 48 hours, but the all-cause mortality rate was 56%. Initial high Pitt's bacteremia score was independently associated with a fatal outcome in multivariate analysis.


Aeromonas SBP is a fatal disease, and must be included in the differential diagnosis of SBP in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis in endemic areas.

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