Unusual presentation of peritonitis with persistent clear aspirate: A case report

Department of Nephrology, Marmara University School of Medicine, (Tophanelioglu Cad,), İstanbul, (34660), Turkey. .
Journal of Medical Case Reports 11/2010; 4(1):383. DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-4-383
Source: PubMed


Peritonitis is the most frequent complication of peritoneal dialysis. Diagnosis of peritonitis includes symptoms and signs of peritonitis with a cloudy aspirate of more than 100 WBC/ml, as well as positive cultures. Although sterile peritonitis has been reported in the literature, to the best of our knowledge this is the first report of an unusual presentation of peritonitis without any white blood cells in the peritoneal aspirate despite multiple positive peritoneal cultures.
An 82-year-old Caucasian man who had been on continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis for 12 years was admitted to our hospital with general malaise, loss of appetite, weight loss and somnolence. He did not describe abdominal pain or fever. Even though his peritoneal fluid was consistently negative for leukocytes and clear, he had peritonitis with different organisms consecutively.
Our case report shows that any patient on peritoneal dialysis presenting with evidence of infection (fever, peripheral leukocytosis) without an obvious cause should have aspirate cultures done even if the aspirate is clear and abdominal pain is absent. Our case report may change the initial work-up and management of these patients. We believe this report is of interest to general medicine and emergency room physicians as well as nephrologists.

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    ABSTRACT: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is associated with a high risk of infection of the peritoneum, subcutaneous tunnel and catheter exit site. Although quality standards demand an infection rate < 0.67 episodes/patient/year on dialysis, the reported overall rate of PD associated infection is 0.24-1.66 episodes/patient/year. It is estimated that for every 0.5-per-year increase in peritonitis rate, the risk of death increases by 4% and 18% of the episodes resulted in removal of the PD catheter and 3.5% resulted in death. Improved diagnosis, increased awareness of causative agents in addition to other measures will facilitate prompt management of PD associated infection and salvage of PD modality. The aims of this review are to determine the magnitude of the infection problem, identify possible risk factors and provide an update on the diagnosis and management of PD associated infection. Gram-positive cocci such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, other coagulase negative staphylococcoci, and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) are the most frequent aetiological agents of PD-associated peritonitis worldwide. Empiric antibiotic therapy must cover both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. However, use of systemic vancomycin and ciprofloxacin administration for example, is a simple and efficient first-line protocol antibiotic therapy for PD peritonitis - success rate of 77%. However, for fungal PD peritonitis, it is now standard practice to remove PD catheters in addition to antifungal treatment for a minimum of 3 wk and subsequent transfer to hemodialysis. To prevent PD associated infections, prophylactic antibiotic administration before catheter placement, adequate patient training, exit-site care, and treatment for S. aureus nasal carriage should be employed. Mupirocin treatment can reduce the risk of exit site infection by 46% but it cannot decrease the risk of peritonitis due to all organisms.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012