What Causes Free Peritoneal Fluid?

Discussion Peritoneal fluid is normal. It decreases the friction of the peritoneum covering abdominal and pelvic organs and helps to protect them and allow their movement. A normal amount of peritoneal fluid is expected on radiological evaluation. Increased peritoneal fluid is a continuum and is concerning as a wide variety of pathological causes are associated with it such as abdominal trauma and appendicitis. At the far end of the scale is ascites that is the accumulation of free fluid more than 25 ml. It is usually associated with abdominal distension but fluid must accumulate before distension can occur and therefore it may be diagnosed before distension. One prospective study of prepubertal healthy children found the normal volume of free peritoneal fluid had a mean and standard deviation of 4.7 +/- 5.65 mL for females and 1.9 +/- 3.11 mL for males. Maximum volume was 25 mL for females and 17 mL for males. Fifteen percent of females and 3% of males had more than 10 mL of fluid. There are also normal variations with menstrual cycles in women. Abdominal trauma is an obvious cause of increased free peritoneal fluid and can include blood or other abdominal organ fluids. Usually there is a trauma history, but some intra-abdominal injuries can be difficult to diagnose and may occur after the acute injury and therefore are unrecognized immediately. There is a mortality rate as high as 8.5% with abdominal trauma. With blunt trauma, the spleen is the most common organ injured ...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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