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Am J Med. 1985 Jan;78(1):49-53.

Infectious peritonitis in patients receiving intraperitoneal chemotherapy.


A total of 32 episodes of infectious peritonitis developed in 90 patients receiving intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Staphylococcus epidermidis was the organism most commonly cultured, accounting for 65 percent of isolates. Result of initial gram stain was positive in 35 percent of cases. The development of fever and abdominal pain as well as rising peripheral and peritoneal fluid white blood cell counts was helpful in the making of a diagnosis of infectious peritonitis. Seventy-five percent of patients were cured with antibiotic therapy alone whereas one quarter also required removal of the semi-permanent catheter. Patients treated with intraperitoneal chemotherapy delivered by dialysis exchange over several days exhibited significantly more episodes of infection than patients treated by a single-drug instillation each month. Although the development of bacterial peritonitis remains a problem during intracavitary chemotherapy, the use of subcutaneous ports and meticulous sterile technique during catheter manipulation will hopefully decrease the risk of occurrence of this potentially avoidable complication.

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