Peritoneal candidiasis

Peritoneal Candidiasis

Peritoneal candidiasis is an infection of the peritoneum — the lining of the abdominal cavity — caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans. It is most commonly seen in people who have weakened immune systems due to diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and diabetes, or from receiving long courses of antibiotics or immunosuppressant medications. Symptoms of peritoneal candidiasis usually include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Candidiasis of the peritoneum is not usually seen in healthy people, as the immune system is usually able to control the Candida that is present in the body. If the immune system is weakened for any reason, Candida can spread and cause an infection.


Peritoneal candidiasis is caused by the invasion of the Candida albicans fungus. It is often seen in people who are critically ill and have weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS, cancer, or diabetes. It can also be caused by long-term use of antibiotics or immunosuppressant medications, or if the person is undergoing chemotherapy. In some cases, the infection can spread if it is left untreated.


The most common symptoms of peritoneal candidiasis are abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Joint pain
  • Confusion


Peritoneal candidiasis is diagnosed by a combination of physical exam, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. A physical exam can help to identify the presence of abdominal tenderness and any other signs and symptoms. Blood tests can be used to detect signs of infection in the body, such as elevated white blood cell counts. Imaging tests such as CT scans or ultrasounds can be used to look for signs of infection in the abdominal area.


Treatment for peritoneal candidiasis usually involves the use of antifungal medications. These medications can be taken by mouth or delivered directly to the site of infection through a catheter. Antifungal medications may be used alone or in combination with other medications, such as antibiotics, to treat the infection. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove any infected tissue.

In addition to medications, the doctor may suggest lifestyle changes to help prevent the infection from recurring. These may include avoiding foods that may trigger an allergic reaction, quitting smoking, and getting adequate rest.