Signs of Peritoneal Irritation

From WikiLectures

Signs of peritoneal irritation normally occur if there is any pathological process in the abdominal cavity. They are characterized by pain or tenderness on palpation. The irritation can be marked or diffused.

Défense Musculaire (Muscle Guarding)

The musles of abdominal wall are contracted. It is a reflex response of an organism that is intended to prevent the spread of irritation. The patient´s abdominal wall palpation is very hard.

Pleniér´s Sign

The palpation of place, which patient locates as problematic, is very painful.

Blumberg´s Sign

You push the irritated place and then let your hands off quickly. The pain is caused by the release of pressure. Also, called rebound tenderness

Rovsing´s Sign

This sign is the same as Blumberg, but you push the abdominal wall on the opposite site of the irritation.


Etiology of Peritonitis

1) Infectious

2) Noninfectious

  • Perforation of a hollow organ, which contains sterile liquid (e.g. gastric juice, bile, urine...)
  • Bleeding in abdominal cavity (trauma, rupture of parenchymatous organ – haemoperitoneum)
  • Tumors
  • Autoimmune inflammation (e.g. Lupus Erythematosus)


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