Spontaneous fungal peritonitis: Micro-organisms, management and mortality in liver cirrhosis-A systematic review

Tooba Tariq, Furqan B. Irfan, Mehdi Farishta, Brian Dykstra, Eric Martin Sieloff, Archita P. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Spontaneous peritonitis is an infection of ascitic fluid without a known intraabdominal source of infection. spontaneous fungal peritonitis (SFP) is a potentially fatal complication of decompensated cirrhosis, defined as fungal infection of ascitic fluid in the presence of ascitic neutrophil count of greater than 250 cells/mL. AIM To determine the prevalence of fungal pathogens, management and outcomes (mortality) of SFP in critically ill cirrhotic patients. METHODS Studies were identified using PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Scopus databases until February 2019. Inclusion criteria included intervention trials and observation studies describing the association between SFP and cirrhosis. The primary outcome was in-hospital, 1-mo, and 6-mo mortality rates of SFP in cirrhotic patients. Secondary outcomes were fungal microorganisms identified and in hospital management by anti-fungal medications. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute quality assessment tools were used to assess internal validity and risk of bias for each included study. RESULTS Six observational studies were included in this systematic review. The overall quality of included studies was good. A meta-analysis of results could not be performed because of differences in reporting of outcomes and heterogeneity of the included studies. There were 82 patients with SFP described across all the included studies. Candida species, predominantly Candida albicans was the fungal pathogen in majority of the cases (48%-81.8%) followed by Candida krusei (15%- 25%) and Candida glabrata (6.66%-20%). Cryptococcus neoformans (53.3%) was the other major fungal pathogen. Antifungal therapy in SFP patients was utilized in 33.3% to 81.8% cases. The prevalence of in hospital mortality ranged from 33.3% to 100%, whereas 1-mo mortality ranged between 50% to 73.3%. CONCLUSION This systematic review suggests that SFP in end stage liver disease patient is associated with high mortality both in the hospital and at 1-mo, and that antifungal therapy is currently underutilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-606
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019


  • Bacterial peritonitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Critical
  • Liver
  • Spontaneous fungal peritonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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