A Real-World Evaluation of Repeat Paracentesis-guided Management of Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis

Aparna Goel, Mollie Biewald, Shirish Huprikar, Thomas Schiano, Gene Y. Im

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11 Scopus citations


Background: Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a common infection in cirrhosis associated with high mortality. More than 20% of patients with SBP do not respond to initial antibiotics. Guidelines differ in recommendations to repeat paracentesis (retap) to confirm antibiotic efficacy. We aim to evaluate the effect of retap-guided management of SBP on antibiotic escalation and 30-day transplant-free survival. Materials and Methods: Retrospective cohort study of cirrhotic patients with SBP admitted to a single transplant center from 2010 to 2014. Patients were divided into 2 groups: retap-guided management versus no retap. Prevalence of initial antibiotic treatment failure, defined as <25% decrease in ascitic polymorphonuclear cells, and factors associated with treatment failure, antibiotic escalation and 30-day transplant-free survival were evaluated. Results: Out of 210 patients, 146 (age 58, 74% male, mean model for end-stage liver disease score, 25) had retap and treatment failure was noted in 28 (22%). Gram-positive bacteria accounted for 44% of all positive cultures and third-generation cepahalosporin resistance was noted in 23%. Thirty-day transplant-free survival was 72% and 62% in retap and control groups, respectively (P=0.07). Treatment failure independently doubled the 30-day mortality rate (hazard ratio: 2.15, 1.03 to 4.50, P=0.04). After adjusting for age, model for end-stage liver disease and nosocomial infection, retap-guided management was not associated with improved survival (P=0.34). Conclusions: The prevalence of initial treatment failure is high (22%) in patients with SBP and doubles the 30-day mortality risk, supporting recommendations to retap all patients with SBP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • cirrhosis
  • infection
  • repeat paracentesis
  • spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
  • treatment failure


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