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Open Access Case report

Peritoneal adhesion: it can be life-threatening, and life-saving

Jiun-Chi Huang12, Szu-Chia Chen12, Tsung-Kun Yang2, Fang-Jung Yu3, Fu Ou-Yang4 and Jer-Ming Chang125*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, 482 San-Ming Rd, Hsiao-Kang District, Kaohsiung, 812, Taiwan

2 Division of Nephrology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, 482 San-Ming Rd, Hsiao-Kang District, Kaohsiung, 812, Taiwan

3 Division of Gastroenterology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, 482 San-Ming Rd, Hsiao-Kang District, Kaohsiung, 812, Taiwan

4 Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, 482 San-Ming Rd, Hsiao-Kang District, Kaohsiung, 812, Taiwan

5 Faculty of Renal Care, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:113  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-113

Published: 19 September 2012

Abstract

Background

The inevitable post-inflammatory fibrosis and adhesion often compromises future treatment in peritoneal dialysis patients. Here, we describe a patient who experienced an unusual form of peritoneal adhesion that made her give up peritoneal dialysis. However, its unique pattern also saved her from infection caused by bowel perforation.

Case presentation

The female patient discontinued peritoneal dialysis due to gradual dialysis inadequacy. Two months after shifting to hemodialysis with generally improved sense of well-being and no sign of abdominal illness, she was admitted to remove the Tenckhoff catheter. The procedure was smooth, but fever and abdominal pain not at the site of operation developed the next day. Abdominal ultrasound showed the presence of ascites and aspiration revealed slimy, green-yellowish pus that gave a negative result on bacterial culture. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) with oral contrast medium was performed, but failed to demonstrate the suspected bowel perforation. The examination, however, did show accumulation of pus inside the abdomen but outside the peritoneal cavity. We drained the pus with two 14-F Pig-tail catheters and the total amount of drainage approached 4000 ml. The second CT was performed with double dose of the contrast medium and found a leak of the contrast from the jejunum. She then received laparotomy and had the perforation site closed.

Conclusions

In summary, this uremic patient suffered from pus accumulation inside her abdomen without obvious systemic toxic effect. The bowel perforation and pus formation might be caused by repeated peritonitis, but the peritoneal adhesion itself might also isolate her peritoneal cavity from the anticipated toxic injuries of bowel perforation.

Keywords:
Peritoneal dialysis; Peritonitis; Ultrafiltration failure; Peritoneal adhesion; Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis