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1.  Intra-abdominal hypertension in patients with severe acute pancreatitis 
Critical Care  2005;9(4):R452-R457.
Introduction
Abdominal compartment syndrome has been described in patients with severe acute pancreatitis, but its clinical impact remains unclear. We therefore studied patient factors associated with the development of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH), the incidence of organ failure associated with IAH, and the effect on outcome in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).
Methods
We studied all patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) because of SAP in a 4 year period. The incidence of IAH (defined as intra-abdominal pressure ≥ 15 mmHg) was recorded. The occurrence of organ dysfunction during ICU stay was recorded, as was the length of stay in the ICU and outcome.
Results
The analysis included 44 patients, and IAP measurements were obtained from 27 patients. IAH was found in 21 patients (78%). The maximum IAP in these patients averaged 27 mmHg. APACHE II and Ranson scores on admission were higher in patients who developed IAH. The incidence of organ dysfunction was high in patients with IAH: respiratory failure 95%, cardiovascular failure 91%, and renal failure 86%. Mortality in the patients with IAH was not significantly higher compared to patients without IAH (38% versus 16%, p = 0.63), but patients with IAH stayed significantly longer in the ICU and in the hospital. Four patients underwent abdominal decompression because of abdominal compartment syndrome, three of whom died in the early postoperative course.
Conclusion
IAH is a frequent finding in patients admitted to the ICU because of SAP, and is associated with a high occurrence rate of organ dysfunction. Mortality is high in patients with IAH, and because the direct causal relationship between IAH and organ dysfunction is not proven in patients with SAP, surgical decompression should not routinely be performed.
doi:10.1186/cc3754
PMCID: PMC1269467  PMID: 16137360
2.  Incidence and prognosis of intra-abdominal hypertension in critically ill medical patients: a prospective epidemiological study 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S3.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) in patients with two or more categorized risk factors (CRF) for IAH, and their morbidity and mortality during their intensive care unit (ICU) stay.
Methods
Prospective cohort study carried out at a medical ICU. A total of 151 medical patients were enrolled during a period of 3 months. After ICU whole staff training, we conducted daily screening of the four CRF for IAH based on the World Society of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS) guidelines (namely, diminished abdominal wall compliance, increased intraluminal content, increased abdominal content, and capillary leak syndrome or fluid resuscitation). In those patients with risk factors of at least two different categories (≥2 CRF), intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was measured every 8 h during ICU stay. Data included demographics, main diagnosis on admission, severity scores, cumulative fluid balance, daily mean IAP, resolution of IAH, days of ICU and hospital stay, and mortality.
Results
Eighty-seven patients (57.6%) had ≥2 CRF for IAH, 59 (67.8%) out of whom developed IAH. Patients with ≥2 CRF had a significantly higher mortality rate (41.4 vs. 14.3%, p < 0.001). Patients with IAH had higher body mass index, severity scores, organ dysfunctions/failures, number of CRF for IAH, days of ICU/hospital stay and hospital mortality rate (45.8 vs. 32.1%, p = 0.22). Non-resolution of IAH was associated with a higher mortality rate (64.7 vs. 35.3%, p = 0.001). None of the cohort patients developed abdominal compartment syndrome. The multivariate analysis showed that IAH development (odds ratio (OR) 4.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83-20.12) was a non-independent risk factor for mortality, and its non-resolution (OR 13.15; 95% CI 22.13-81.92) was an independent risk factor for mortality.
Conclusions
Critically ill medical patients admitted to ICU with ≥2 CRF have high morbidity, mortality rate, and incidence of IAH, so IAP should be measured and monitored as recommended by the WSACS. Our study highlights the importance of implementing screening and assessment protocols for an early diagnosis of IAH.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S3
PMCID: PMC3390290  PMID: 22873419
intra-abdominal hypertension; abdominal compartment syndrome; intra-abdominal pressure; multiple organ failure; critically ill patients; intensive care.
3.  Pediatric critical care nurses' experience with abdominal compartment syndrome 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S6.
Background
Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is a syndrome associated with multi-system effects of elevated intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) in critically ill children. It has a 90-100% mortality rate if not recognized and treated promptly. Measuring IAP helps identify patients developing intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) which allows for timely intervention before progression to ACS. IAP helps identify ACS and guides its medical and surgical management. IAP is often measured by the bedside nurse in the intensive care unit. Pediatric critical care nurses (PCCN) play a key role in managing critically ill patients and recognizing potential causes for clinical deterioration such as ACS therefore should be knowledgeable about this entity.
Objective
The aim of this study was to assess the awareness and current knowledge of ACS among PCCN.
Methods
A ten-item written questionnaire was distributed at a National Critical Care Conference in 2006 and again in 2010. Participants of the conference voluntarily completed and immediately returned the survey. Results from the two questionnaires were compared.
Results
Sixty-two percent of 691 questionnaires were completed. The awareness of ACS improved from 69.3% in 2006 to 87.8% in 2010 (p < 0.001) among PCCN. "Years in practice" influenced awareness of ACS. Nurses working for 5-10 and > 10 years were, respectively, 2.34 and 1.89 times more likely to be aware of ACS than those working for < 5 years. Hands-on experience managing a child with ACS by PCCN also improved from 49.1% to 67.9% (p < 0.001) but remains low. The number of participants who never measured IAP fell from 27.3% to 19.1% (p = 0.101). The most common method being used to measure IAP is the bladder method. Knowledge of the definition of ACS remains poor with only 13.2% associating the definition of ACS with organ dysfunction in 2010 which was even lower than in 2006.
Conclusions
There is increasing awareness of ACS and experience in its management among PCCN. However, few PCCN correctly understand the definition of ACS. Since recognition of IAH and early intervention can reduce morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients, further educational efforts should be directed toward improving the knowledge and recognition of ACS by PCCN.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S6
PMCID: PMC3390293  PMID: 22873422
critical care; nurses; abdominal compartment syndrome; intra-abdominal; pressure.
4.  Abdominal compartment syndrome in patients with severe acute pancreatitis in early stage 
AIM: To study retrospectively the influence of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) in patients with early acute pancreatitis (AP) (during the first week after admission) on physiological functions, and the association of the presence of IAH/ACS and outcome.
METHODS: Patients (n = 74) with AP recruited in this study were divided into two groups according to intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) determined by indirect measurement using the transvesical route via Foley bladder catheter during the first week after admission. Patients (n = 44) with IAP ≥ 12 mmHg were assigned in IAH group, and the remaining patients (n = 30) with IAP < 12 mmHg in normal IAP group. For analysis of the influence of IAH/ACS on organ function and outcome, the physiological parameters and the occurrence of organ dysfunction during intensive care unit (ICU) stay were recorded, as were the incidences of pancreatic infection and in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: IAH within the first week after admission was found in 44 patients (59.46%). Although the APACHE II scores on admission and the Ranson scores within 48 h after hospitalization were elevated in IAH patients in early stage, they did not show the statistically significant differences from patients with normal IAP within a week after admission (16.18 ± 3.90 vs 15.70 ± 4.25, P = 0.616; 3.70 ± 0.93 vs 3.47 ± 0.94, P = 0.285, respectively). ACS in early AP was recorded in 20 patients (27.03%). During any 24-h period of the first week after admission, the recorded mean IAP correlated significantly with the Marshall score calculated at the same time interval in IAH group (r = 0.635, P < 0.001). Although ACS patients had obvious amelioration in physiological variables within 24 h after decompression, the incidences of pancreatitic infection, septic shock, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and death in the patients with ACS were significantly higher than that in other patients without ACS (pancreatitic infection: 60.0% vs 7.4%, P < 0.001; septic shock: 70.0% vs 11.1%, P < 0.001; MODS: 90.0% vs 31.5%, P < 0.001; mortality: 75.0% vs 3.7%, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: IAH/ACS is a frequent finding in patients admitted to the ICU because of AP. Patients with IAP at approximately 10-12 mmHg and early signs of changes in physiologic variables should be seriously considered for urgent decompression to improve survival.
doi:10.3748/wjg.14.3541
PMCID: PMC2716618  PMID: 18567084
Acute pancreatitis; Abdominal compartment syndrome; Intra-abdominal pressure; Intra-abdominal hypertension; Organ dysfunction
5.  Current recognition and management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome among tertiary Chinese intensive care physicians*  
This survey was designed to clarify the current understanding and clinical management of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH)/abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) among intensive care physicians in tertiary Chinese hospitals. A postal twenty-question questionnaire was sent to 141 physicians in different intensive care units (ICUs). A total of 108 (76.6%) questionnaires were returned. Among these, three quarters worked in combined medical-surgical ICUs and nearly 80% had primary training in internal or emergency medicine. Average ICU beds, annual admission, ICU length of stay, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score, and mortality were 18.2 beds, 764.5 cases, 8.3 d, 19.4, and 21.1%, respectively. Of the respondents, 30.6% never measured intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). Although the vast majority of the ICUs adopted the exclusively transvesicular method, the overwhelming majority (88.0%) only measured IAP when there was a clinical suspicion of IAH/ACS and only 29.3% measured either often or routinely. Moreover, 84.0% used the wrong priming saline volume while 88.0% zeroed at reference points which were not in consistence with the standard method for IAP monitoring recommended by the World Society of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. ACS was suspected mainly when there was a distended abdomen (92%), worsening oliguria (80%), and increased ventilatory support requirement (68%). Common causes for IAH/ACS were “third-spacing from massive volume resuscitation in different settings” (88%), “intra-abdominal bleeding”, and “liver failure with ascites” (52% for both). Though 60% respondents would recommend surgical decompression when the IAP exceeded 25 mmHg, accompanied by signs of organ dysfunction, nearly three quarters of respondents preferred diuresis and dialysis. A total of 68% of respondents would recommend paracentesis in the treatment for ACS. In conclusion, urgent systematic education is absolutely necessary for most intensive care physicians in China to help to establish clear diagnostic criteria and appropriate management for these common, but life-threatening, diseases.
doi:10.1631/jzus.B1000185
PMCID: PMC3030961  PMID: 21265048
Questionnaire; Intra-abdominal pressure; Intra-abdominal hypertension; Decompression laparotomy; Abdominal compartment syndrome
6.  The Effect of Intra-Abdominal Hypertension Incorporating Severe Acute Pancreatitis in a Porcine Model 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33125.
Introduction
Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) and intra abdominal hypertension(IAH) are common clinical findings in patients with severe acute pancreatitis(SAP). It is thought that an increased intra abdominal pressure(IAP) is associated with poor prognosis in SAP patients. But the detailed effect of IAH/ACS on different organ system is not clear. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of SAP combined with IAH on hemodynamics, systemic oxygenation, and organ damage in a 12 h lasting porcine model.
Measurements and Methods
Following baseline registrations, a total of 30 animals were divided into 5 groups (6 animals in each group): SAP+IAP30 group, SAP+IAP20 group, SAP group, IAP30 group(sham-operated but without SAP) and sham-operated group. We used a N2 pneumoperitoneum to induce different levels of IAH and retrograde intra-ductal infusion of sodium taurocholate to induce SAP. The investigation period was 12 h. Hemodynamic parameters (CO, HR, MAP, CVP), urine output, oxygenation parameters(e.g., SvO2, PO2, PaCO2), peak inspiratory pressure, as well as serum parameters (e.g., ALT, amylase, lactate, creatinine) were recorded. Histological examination of liver, intestine, pancreas, and lung was performed.
Main Results
Cardiac output significantly decreased in the SAP+IAH animals compared with other groups. Furthermore, AST, creatinine, SUN and lactate showed similar increasing tendency paralleled with profoundly decrease in SvO2. The histopathological analyses also revealed higher grade injury of liver, intestine, pancreas and lung in the SAP+IAH groups. However, few differences were found between the two SAP+IAH groups with different levels of IAP.
Conclusions
Our newly developed porcine SAP+IAH model demonstrated that there were remarkable effects on global hemodynamics, oxygenation and organ function in response to sustained IAH of 12 h combined with SAP. Moreover, our model should be helpful to study the mechanisms of IAH/ACS-induced exacerbation and to optimize the treatment strategies for counteracting the development of organ dysfunction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033125
PMCID: PMC3293917  PMID: 22403734
7.  Intra-abdominal hypertension and the abdominal compartment syndrome: updated consensus definitions and clinical practice guidelines from the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome 
Intensive Care Medicine  2013;39(7):1190-1206.
Purpose
To update the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS) consensus definitions and management statements relating to intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and the abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS).
Methods
We conducted systematic or structured reviews to identify relevant studies relating to IAH or ACS. Updated consensus definitions and management statements were then derived using a modified Delphi method and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines, respectively. Quality of evidence was graded from high (A) to very low (D) and management statements from strong RECOMMENDATIONS (desirable effects clearly outweigh potential undesirable ones) to weaker SUGGESTIONS (potential risks and benefits of the intervention are less clear).
Results
In addition to reviewing the consensus definitions proposed in 2006, the WSACS defined the open abdomen, lateralization of the abdominal musculature, polycompartment syndrome, and abdominal compliance, and proposed an open abdomen classification system. RECOMMENDATIONS included intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurement, avoidance of sustained IAH, protocolized IAP monitoring and management, decompressive laparotomy for overt ACS, and negative pressure wound therapy and efforts to achieve same-hospital-stay fascial closure among patients with an open abdomen. SUGGESTIONS included use of medical therapies and percutaneous catheter drainage for treatment of IAH/ACS, considering the association between body position and IAP, attempts to avoid a positive fluid balance after initial patient resuscitation, use of enhanced ratios of plasma to red blood cells and prophylactic open abdominal strategies, and avoidance of routine early biologic mesh use among patients with open abdominal wounds. NO RECOMMENDATIONS were possible regarding monitoring of abdominal perfusion pressure or the use of diuretics, renal replacement therapies, albumin, or acute component-parts separation.
Conclusion
Although IAH and ACS are common and frequently associated with poor outcomes, the overall quality of evidence available to guide development of RECOMMENDATIONS was generally low. Appropriately designed intervention trials are urgently needed for patients with IAH and ACS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00134-013-2906-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00134-013-2906-z
PMCID: PMC3680657  PMID: 23673399
Intra-abdominal hypertension; Abdominal compartment syndrome; Critical care; Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation; Evidence-based medicine; World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
8.  Analyzing intra-abdominal pressures and outcomes in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy 
Background:
Studies have documented the impact of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) on virtually every organ. However, it still remains strangely underdiagnosed. The aims of the study were to assess, in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy, whether intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality, to evaluate the effects of IAH, and to identify hidden cases of abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS).
Materials and Methods:
The study comprised 197 patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. IAP was measured preoperatively and then postoperatively at 0, 6, and 24 hours. Duration of hospital stay, occurrence of burst abdomen, and mortality were noted as outcomes.
Results:
At admission, incidence of IAH was 80%. No significant association was found between IAP and occurrence of burst abdomen (P > 0.1). IAP was found to be a significant predictor of mortality in patients undergoing laparotomy (P < 0.001). Elevated IAP was found to affect all the organ systems adversely. The incidence of post-op ACS was 3.05% in the general population and 13.16% in trauma patients. The mortality rate for this subgroup was 100%.
Conclusions:
IAP is a significant predictor of mortality in patients undergoing laparotomy. IAH has detrimental effects on various organ systems. A more frequent monitoring with prompt decompression may be helpful in decreasing the mortality rate. Further studies are required to establish a screening protocol in patients undergoing laparotomy to detect and manage cases of IAH and ACS.
doi:10.4103/0974-2700.70747
PMCID: PMC2966562  PMID: 21063552
Abdominal compartment syndrome; intra-abdominal hypertension; intra-abdominal pressure
9.  Abdominal compartment syndrome 
The abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) was first described in surgical patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, trauma, bleeding, or infection, but in recent years it has also been described in patients with other pathologies such as burn injury and sepsis and in medical patients. This F1000 Medicine Report is intended to provide critical care physicians a clear insight into the current state of knowledge regarding intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and ACS, and will focus primarily on the recent literature as well as on the definitions and recommendations published by the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. The definitions regarding increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) will be listed, followed by a brief but comprehensive overview of the different mechanisms of organ dysfunction associated with IAH. The gold standard measurement technique for IAP as well as recommendations for organ function support in patients with IAH and options for medical and surgical treatment of IAH and ACS will be discussed.
doi:10.3410/M1-86
PMCID: PMC2948339  PMID: 20948692
10.  Early continuous veno-venous haemofiltration in the management of severe acute pancreatitis complicated with intra-abdominal hypertension: retrospective review of 10 years' experience 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S21.
Background
Conservative treatment of patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) may be associated with development of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH), deterioration of visceral perfusion and increased risk of multiple organ dysfunction. Fluid balance is essential for maintenance of adequate organ perfusion and control of the third space. Timely application of continuous veno-venous haemofiltration (CVVH) may help in balancing fluid replacement and removal of cytokines from the blood and tissue compartments. The aim of the present study was to determine whether CVVH can be recommended as a constituent of conservative treatment in patients with SAP who suffer IAH.
Methods
A retrospective analysis of 10 years' experience with low-flow CVVH application in patients with SAP who develop IAH was. In all patients, measurement of the intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was done indirectly through the urinary bladder. Sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score was calculated for severity assessment, and necrotizing forms were verified by contrast-enhanced computed tomography. Dynamics of IAP were analysed in parallel with signs of systemic inflammation, dynamics of C-reactive protein and cumulative fluid balance. All variables, complication rate and outcomes were analysed in the whole group and in patients with IAH (CVVH and no-CVVH groups).
Results
From the total of 130 patients, 75 were treated with application of CVVH and 55 without CVVH. Late hospitalization was associated with application of CVVH. Infection was observed in 28.5% of cases regardless of the type of treatment received, with a similar necessity for surgical intervention. IAH was observed in 68.5% of patients, and they had significantly higher SOFA scores compared to patients with normal IAP. CVVH treatment resulted in negative cumulative fluid balance starting from day 5 in patients with IAH, whereas without this treatment, fluid balance remained increasingly positive after a week. Finally, application of CVVH resulted in a lower infection rate and shorter hospital stay, 26.7% vs. 37.9%, and a median of 32 (interquartile range (IQR) = 60 to 12) days vs. 24 (IQR = 34 to 4) days, p = 0.05, comparing CVVH vs. no-CVVH group. Mortality rate reached 11.7% in the CVVH group and 13.8% in the no-CVVH group.
Conclusions
Early application of CVVH facilitates negative fluid balance and reduction of IAH in patients with SAP; it is not associated with increased infection or mortality rate and may reduce hospital stay.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S21
PMCID: PMC3527156  PMID: 23281603
11.  The secondary abdominal compartment syndrome: not just another post-traumatic complication 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2008;51(5):399-405.
The secondary abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is defined as the presence of organ dysfunction with concurrent intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) in a scenario lacking primary intraperitoneal injury or intervention. This state appears to be related to visceral, abdominal wall and retroperitoneal edema and ascites induced by resuscitation. Despite a diverse range of associated causes such as pancreatitis, intra-abdominal sepsis, cardiac arrest, thermal injury and extraperitoneal trauma, this class of ACS is characterized by the presence of shock requiring aggressive fluid resuscitation. Secondary ACS is an extreme condition along a continuum of raised intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) that is pathoneumonic when associated with new overt organ failure. When IAP is above normal but is not associated with organ failure, IAH is diagnosed. Because these conditions are common among critically ill patients, the measurement of IAP is crucial. It is unclear whether preventing IAH reduces progression to ACS or influences outcomes. When overt ACS is confirmed, immediate surgical decompression of the patient's abdomen via a standard laparotomy is usually required. Because many disease processes resulting in critical illness require aggressive fluid resuscitation as a primary therapy, it is likely that secondary ACS is much more common than previously believed. Further study is needed.
PMCID: PMC2556543  PMID: 18841232
12.  Prophylactic open abdomen in patients with postoperative intra-abdominal hypertension 
Critical Care  2010;14(1):111.
Postoperative intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is a frequent occurrence in critically ill patients operated on for severe abdominal trauma, secondary peritonitis or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. IAH may progress to abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) with new-onset organ dysfunction. Early recognition of IAH and interventions that prevent the development of ACS may preserve vital organ functions and increase the probability of survival. The best method to prevent postoperative ACS is to leave the abdomen open during the operation. The decision to leave the abdomen open is usually based on the surgeon's judgment without intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurements during the operation. Because significant morbidity and mortality are associated with the open abdomen, the measurement of IAP immediately after the fascial closure, when feasible, could offer an objective method for determining the optimal IAP threshold for leaving the abdomen open. The management of the open abdomen requires a temporary abdominal closure (TAC) system that would ideally prevent the development of ACS and facilitate later primary fascia closure. Among several TAC systems, the most promising are those that provide negative pressure to the wound or continuous fascial traction or both.
doi:10.1186/cc8207
PMCID: PMC2875490  PMID: 20156323
13.  Intra-abdominal pressure, intra-abdominal hypertension, and pregnancy: a review 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S5.
The last several decades have seen many advances in the recognition and prevention of the abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) and its precursor, intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH). There has also been a relative explosion of knowledge in the critical care, trauma, and surgical populations, and the inception of a society dedicated to its understanding, the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS). However, there has been almost no recognition or appreciation of the potential presence, influence, and management of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), IAH, and ACS in pregnancy. This review highlights the importance and relevance of IAP in the critically ill parturient, the current lack of normative IAP values in pregnancy today, along with a review of the potential relationship between IAH and maternal diseases such as preeclampsia-eclampsia and its potential impact on fetal development. Finally, current IAP measurement guidelines are questioned, as they do not take into account the gravid uterus and its mechanical impact on intra-vesicular pressure.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S5
PMCID: PMC3390298  PMID: 22873421
intra-abdominal pressure; intra-abdominal hypertension; pregnancy; preeclampsia-eclampsia.
14.  The role of intestinal mucosa injury induced by intra-abdominal hypertension in the development of abdominal compartment syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome 
Critical Care  2013;17(6):R283.
Introduction
Abdominal distension is common in critical illness. There is a growing recognition that intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) may complicate nonsurgical critical illness as well as after abdominal surgery. However, the pathophysiological basis of the injury to the intestinal mucosal barrier and its influence on the onset of abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) and multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (MODS) remain unclear. We measured intestinal microcirculatory blood flow (MBF) during periods of raised intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and examined how this influenced intestinal permeability, systemic endotoxin release, and histopathological changes.
Methods
To test different grades of IAH to the injury of intestinal mucosa, 96 New Zealand white rabbits aged 5 to 6 months were exposed to increased IAP under nitrogen pneumoperitoneum of 15 mmHg or 25 mmHg for 2, 4 or 6 hours. MBF was measured using a laser Doppler probe placed against the jejunal mucosa through a small laparotomy. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated dextran was administered by gavage. Intestinal injury and permeability were measured using assays for serum FITC-dextran and endotoxin, respectively, after each increase in IAP. Structural injury to the intestinal mucosa at different levels of IAH was confirmed by light and transmission electron microscopy.
Results
MBF reduced from baseline by 40% when IAP was 15 mmHg for 2 hours. This doubled to 81% when IAP was 25 mmHg for 6 hours. Each indicator of intestinal injury increased significantly, proportionately with IAP elevation and exposure time. Baseline serum FITC-dextran was 9.30 (± SD 6.00) μg/ml, rising to 46.89 (±13.43) μg/ml after 15 mmHg IAP for 4 hours (P <0.01), and 284.59 (± 45.18) μg/ml after 25 mmHg IAP for 6 hours (P <0.01). Endotoxin levels showed the same pattern. After prolonged exposure to increased IAP, microscopy showed erosion and necrosis of jejunal villi, mitochondria swelling and discontinuous intracellular tight junctions.
Conclusions
Intra-abdominal hypertension can significantly reduce MBF in the intestinal mucosa, increase intestinal permeability, result in endotoxemia, and lead to irreversible damage to the mitochondria and necrosis of the gut mucosa. The dysfunction of the intestinal mucosal barrier may be one of the important initial factors responsible for the onset of ACS and MODS.
doi:10.1186/cc13146
PMCID: PMC4057115  PMID: 24321230
15.  Clinical review: Intra-abdominal hypertension: does it influence the physiology of prone ventilation? 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):232.
Prone ventilation (PV) is a ventilatory strategy that frequently improves oxygenation and lung mechanics in critical illness, yet does not consistently improve survival. While the exact physiologic mechanisms related to these benefits remain unproven, one major theoretical mechanism relates to reducing the abdominal encroachment upon the lungs. Concurrent to this experience is increasing recognition of the ubiquitous role of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) in critical illness, of the relationship between IAH and intra-abdominal volume or thus the compliance of the abdominal wall, and of the potential difference in the abdominal influences between the extrapulmonary and pulmonary forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome. The present paper reviews reported data concerning intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) in association with the use of PV to explore the potential influence of IAH. While early authors stressed the importance of gravitationally unloading the abdominal cavity to unencumber the lung bases, this admonition has not been consistently acknowledged when PV has been utilized. Basic data required to understand the role of IAP/IAH in the physiology of PV have generally not been collected and/or reported. No randomized controlled trials or meta-analyses considered IAH in design or outcome. While the act of proning itself has a variable reported effect on IAP, abundant clinical and laboratory data confirm that the thoracoabdominal cavities are intimately linked and that IAH is consistently transmitted across the diaphragm - although the transmission ratio is variable and is possibly related to the compliance of the abdominal wall. Any proning-related intervention that secondarily influences IAP/IAH is likely to greatly influence respiratory mechanics and outcomes. Further study of the role of IAP/IAH in the physiology and outcomes of PV in hypoxemic respiratory failure is thus required. Theories relating inter-relations between prone positioning and the abdominal condition are presented to aid in designing these studies.
doi:10.1186/cc9099
PMCID: PMC2945095  PMID: 20804560
16.  Intra-abdominal hypertension in cardiac surgery 
OBJECTIVES
The occurrence of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH), as well as its promoting factors in cardiac surgery, has been poorly explored. The aim of the present study was to characterize intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) variations in patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures, and to identify the risk factors for IAH in this setting.
METHODS
All consecutive adult patients requiring postoperative intensive care unit admission for >24 h were enrolled. Demographic data, pre-existing comorbidities, type and duration of surgery, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) use and duration, perioperative IAP, organ function and fluid balance were recorded. IAH was defined as a sustained increase in IAP >12 mmHg. Multivariate logistic regression and stepwise analyses identified the baseline and perioperative variables associated with IAH.
RESULTS
Of 69 patients, 22 (31.8%) developed IAH. In the logistic model, baseline IAP, high central venous pressure, vasoactive drugs administration, positive fluid balance, AKI, CPB, total sequential organ failure assessment score and age were all promoting factors for IAH (Hosmer–Lemeshow χ2 = 7.23; P = 0.843). Baseline IAP, high central venous pressure and positive fluid balance were independent risk factors for IAH in the stepwise analysis. The ROC curve analysis, obtained by plotting the occurrence of IAH vs the IAP baseline value, showed an AUC of 0.75 (SE 0.064; 99% CI 0.62–0.87; P < 0.0001). The best IAP cut-off value was at 8 mmHg (sensitivity 63% and specificity 76%). Considering on- and off-pump surgery groups, fluid balance and vasoactive drugs use were significantly higher in the on-pump group. Linear regression analysis showed a positive correlation (P = 0.0001) between IAP changes and fluid balance only in the on-pump group.
CONCLUSIONS
IAH develops in one-third of cardiac surgery patients and is strongly associated with higher baseline IAP values, higher central venous pressure, positive fluid balance, extracorporeal circulation, use of vasoactive drugs and AKI. Determinants of IAH should be accurately assessed before and after surgery, and patients presenting risk factors must be monitored properly during the perioperative period. In this context, the baseline value of IAP may be a valuable and early warning parameter for IAH occurrence.
doi:10.1093/icvts/ivt272
PMCID: PMC3781798  PMID: 23820668
Intra-abdominal pressure; Abdominal hypertension; Cardiac surgery; Cardiac surgical patients; Acute kidney injury
17.  Intra-abdominal hypertension in patients with sellar region tumors 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S2.
Background
Data on intra-abdominal hypertension [IAH] and secondary abdominal compartment syndrome [ACS] due to neurological insults are limited.
Methods
This was a prospective observational study conducted between January 2010 and January 2011 in the neurological ICU [NICU]. Forty-one consecutive patients with sellar region tumors [SRT] were enrolled into the study. If conservative therapy was ineffective in patients with ACS, thoracic epidural anesthesia [EA] was performed. Primary endpoint was defined as the efficacy of conservative treatment and EA in patients with IAH and ACS; secondary endpoint, the influence of IAH and ACS on outcomes.
Results
Of the 41 patients, 13 (31.7%) had normal intra-abdominal pressure and 28 (68.3%) developed IAH, of whom 9 (22%) had ACS (group II). On average, IAH developed on the second postoperative day, while ACS, between the third and the fifth day. Multiple organ dysfunction developed in 3 (23.1%) patients of group I and in 23 (82%) patients of group II (p = 0.0003). Ileus due to gastrointestinal dysmotility was present in 6 (46.2%) patients of group I and in all patients of group II (p = 0.0001). Significant risk factors for ileus were diencephalon dysfunction (whole group - in 33 patients (80.5%); group I - in 6 patients (46.2%); group II - in 27 patients (96.4%), p = 0.0002) and sepsis (whole group - in 8 patients (19.5%); group I - no cases; group II - in 8 patients (28.6%), p = 0.03). Conservative treatment was effective in the majority of patients (78.9%) with IAH and only in 3 (33%) patients with ACS. Thoracic EA was performed in four patients with ACS with success. Length of stay in the NICU was 6.5 ± 4.6 days in group I and 24.1 ± 25.7 (p = 0.02) days in group II. Five out of nine (55.6%) patients with ACS died. None of these patients received EA. All patients with EA had favorable outcomes.
Conclusion
The development of IAH is common after SRT surgery. If conservative treatment is ineffective, EA can be considered in patients with secondary ACS. Further studies are warranted.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S2
PMCID: PMC3390302  PMID: 22873418
intra-abdominal pressure; intra-abdominal hypertension; abdominal compartment syndrome; epidural anesthesia; neurocritical care; sellar region tumor; ileus; postoperative complication.
18.  Intestinal fatty acid binding protein as a marker for intra-abdominal pressure-related complications in patients admitted to the intensive care unit; study protocol for a prospective cohort study (I-Fabulous study) 
Background
Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) have detrimental effects on all organ systems and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit. Intra-bladder measurement of the intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is currently the gold standard. However, IAH is not always indicative of intestinal ischemia, which is an early and rapidly developing complication. Sensitive biomarkers for intestinal ischemia are needed to be able to intervene before damage becomes irreversible. Gut wall integrity loss, including epithelial cell disruption and tight junctions breakdown, is an early event in intestinal damage. Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Protein (I-FABP) is excreted in urine and blood specifically from damaged intestinal epithelial cells. Claudin-3 is a specific protein which is excreted in urine following disruption of intercellular tight junctions. This study aims to investigate if I-FABP and Claudin-3 can be used as a diagnostic tool for identifying patients at risk for IAP-related complications.
Methods/Design
In a multicenter, prospective cohort study 200 adult patients admitted to the intensive care unit with at least two risk factors for IAH as defined by the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS) will be included. Patients in whom an intra-bladder IAP measurement is contra-indicated or impossible and patients with inflammatory bowel diseases that may affect I-FABP levels will be excluded. The IAP will be measured using an intra-bladder technique. During the subsequent 72 hours, the IAP measurement will be repeated every six hours. At these time points, a urine and serum sample will be collected for measurement of I-FABP and Claudin-3 levels. Clinical outcome of patients during their stay at the intensive care unit will be monitored using the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score.
Discussion
Successful completion of this trial will provide evidence on the eventual role of the biomarkers I-FABP and Claudin-3 in predicting the risk of IAP-associated adverse outcome. This may aid early (surgical) intervention.
Trial registration
The trial is registered at the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR4638).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13049-015-0088-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13049-015-0088-0
PMCID: PMC4324026  PMID: 25591785
Abdominal Compartment Syndrome; Biomarker; Critical care medicine; Intensive Care Unit; Intestinal integrity; Intra-abdominal hypertension; Intra-abdominal pressure; Risk factors
19.  Abdominal Decompression in Children 
Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) increases the risk for mortality in critically ill children. It occurs in association with a wide variety of medical and surgical diagnoses. Management of ACS involves recognizing the development of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) by intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) monitoring, treating the underlying cause, and preventing progression to ACS by lowering IAP. When ACS is already present, supporting dysfunctional organs and decreasing IAP to prevent new organ involvement become an additional focus of therapy. Medical management strategies to achieve these goals should be employed but when medical management fails, timely abdominal decompression is essential to reduce the risk of mortality. A literature review was performed to understand the role and outcomes of abdominal decompression among children with ACS. Abdominal decompression appears to have a positive effect on patient survival. However, prospective randomized studies are needed to fully understand the indications and impact of these therapies on survival in children.
doi:10.1155/2012/180797
PMCID: PMC3318199  PMID: 22482041
20.  Should we measure intra-abdominal pressures in every intensive care patient? 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S9.
Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is seldom measured by default in intensive care patients. This review summarises the current evidence on the prevalence and risk factors of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) to assist the decision-making for IAP monitoring.
IAH occurs in 20% to 40% of intensive care patients. High body mass index (BMI), abdominal surgery, liver dysfunction/ascites, hypotension/vasoactive therapy, respiratory failure and excessive fluid balance are risk factors of IAH in the general ICU population. IAP monitoring is strongly supported in mechanically ventilated patients with severe burns, severe trauma, severe acute pancreatitis, liver failure or ruptured aortic aneurysms. The risk of developing IAH is minimal in mechanically ventilated patients with positive end-expiratory pressure < 10 cmH2O, PaO2/FiO2 > 300, and BMI < 30 and without pancreatitis, hepatic failure/cirrhosis with ascites, gastrointestinal bleeding or laparotomy and the use of vasopressors/inotropes on admission. In these patients, omitting IAP measurements might be considered.
In conclusions, clear guidelines to select the patients in whom IAP measurements should be performed cannot be given at present. In addition to IAP measurements in at-risk patients, a clinical assessment of the signs of IAH should be a part of every ICU patient's bedside evaluation, leading to prompt IAP monitoring in case of the slightest suspicion of IAH development.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S9
PMCID: PMC3390289  PMID: 22873425
intra-abdominal pressure; intra-abdominal hypertension; abdominal compartment syndrome; patient monitoring; intensive care; epidemiology.
21.  The Effects of Intra-Abdominal Hypertension on the Secretory Function of Canine Adrenal Glands 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81795.
Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) can damage multiple organ systems, but the explicit impact on the adrenal gland is unclear. To evaluate the effects of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) on the secretory function of the adrenal glands, we established canine models of IAH. By comparing morphology; hemodynamics; plasma cortisol, aldosterone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine concentrations; and the expression of IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α in adrenal gland tissue from these dogs, we found that hemodynamic instability occurred after IAH and that IAH increased the plasma cortisol, aldosterone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine concentrations. Higher IAPs resulted in more significant changes, and the above indicators gradually returned to normal 2 h after decompression. Compared with the sham-operated group, IAH significantly increased IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in adrenal tissue, with larger increases in the presence of higher IAPs. However, the concentrations of these markers remained higher than those in the sham-operated group despite their decrease after 2 h of decompression. Histopathological examination revealed congestion, red blood cell exudation, and neutrophil infiltration in the adrenal glands when IAP was elevated; these conditions became more significant with more severe IAH. These results suggest that the secretion of adrenal hormones and adrenal gland inflammation are positively correlated with IAP and that abdominal decompression effectively corrects adrenal gland function.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081795
PMCID: PMC3852521  PMID: 24324724
22.  Management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome: a review 
Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk of developing of intra abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS).
Aim: This review seeks to define IAH and ACS, identify the aetiology and presentation of IAH and ACS, identify IAP measurement techniques, identify current management and discuss the implications of IAH and ACS for nursing practice. A search of the electronic databases was supervised by a health librarian. The electronic data bases Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL); Medline, EMBASE, and the World Wide Web was undertaken from 1996- January 2011 using MeSH and key words which included but not limited to: abdominal compartment syndrome, intra -abdominal hypertension, intra-abdominal pressure in adult populations met the search criteria and were reviewed by three authors using a critical appraisal tool. Data derived from the retrieved material are discussed under the following themes: (1) etiology of intra-abdominal hypertension; (2) strategies for measuring intra-abdominal pressure (3) the manifestation of abdominal compartment syndrome; and (4) the importance of nursing assessment, observation and interventions. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) have the potential to alter organ perfusion and compromise organ function.
doi:10.1186/1752-2897-8-2
PMCID: PMC3925290  PMID: 24499574
Intra-abdominal pressure; Intra-abdominal hypertension; Abdominal compartment syndrome; Abdominal perfusion pressure
23.  Temporal differences in the development of organ dysfunction based on two different approaches to induce experimental intra-abdominal hypertension in swine 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S16.
Background
Intra-abdominal hypertension [IAH] occurs frequently among critically ill patients and is associated with increased mortality and organ failure. Two porcine models of IAH that cause abdominal compartment syndrome [ACS] with organ dysfunction were created. We investigated whether the two methods used to create IAH - CO2 pneumoperitoneum or adding volume to the intra-abdominal space - exerted different impacts on the temporal development of organ dysfunction.
Methods
Twenty-four 40-kg female pigs were allocated to four groups: 25 mmHg IAH with CO2 pneumoperitoneum (n = 8), >20 mmHg IAH caused by addition of volume (n = 8), and two corresponding sham groups (each n = 4). The two sham groups were later pooled into one control group (n = 8). The animals were monitored for 12 h. Repeated serial measurements were taken of group differences over time and analyzed using analysis of variance.
Results
Thirty-eight percent of the animals (n = 3) in each intervention group died near the end of the 12-h experiment. Both intervention groups experienced kidney impairment: increased creatinine concentration (P <0.0001), anuria (P = 0.0005), hyperkalemia (P <0.0001), decreased abdominal perfusion pressure, and decreased dynamic lung compliance. CO2 pneumoperitoneum animals developed hypercapnia (P <0.0001) and acidosis (P <0.0001).
Conclusions
Both methods caused ACS and organ dysfunction within 12 h. Hypercapnia and acidosis developed in the CO2 pneumoperitoneum group.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-S1-S16
PMCID: PMC3390305  PMID: 24266989
multiple organ failure; multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; swine; acute kidney injury; acidosis; abdomen.
24.  Vacuum-assisted closure device enhances recovery of critically ill patients following emergency surgical procedures 
Critical Care  2009;13(6):R194.
Introduction
Critically ill surgical patients frequently develop intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) leading to abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) with subsequent high mortality. We compared two temporary abdominal closure systems (Bogota bag and vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) device) in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) control.
Methods
This prospective study with a historical control included 66 patients admitted to a medical and surgical intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary care referral center (Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy) from January 2006 to April 2009. The control group included patients consecutively treated with the Bogota bag (Jan 2006-Oct 2007), whereas the prospective group was comprised of patients treated with a VAC. All patients underwent abdominal decompressive surgery. Groups were compared based upon their IAP, SOFA score, serial arterial lactates, the duration of having their abdomen open, the need for mechanical ventilation (MV) along with length of ICU and hospital stay and mortality. Data were collected from the time of abdominal decompression until the end of pressure monitoring.
Results
The Bogota and VAC groups were similar with regards to demography, admission diagnosis, severity of illness, and IAH grading. The VAC system was more effective in controlling IAP (P < 0.01) and normalizing serum lactates (P < 0.001) as compared to the Bogota bag during the first 24 hours after surgical decompression. There was no significant difference between the SOFA scores. When compared to the Bogota, the VAC group had a faster abdominal closure time (4.4 vs 6.6 days, P = 0.025), shorter duration of MV (7.1 vs 9.9 days, P = 0.039), decreased ICU length of stay (LOS) (13.3 vs 19.2 days, P = 0.024) and hospital LOS (28.5 vs 34.9 days; P = 0.019). Mortality rate did not differ significantly between the two groups.
Conclusions
Patients with abdominal compartment syndrome who were treated with VAC decompression had a faster abdominal closure rate and earlier discharge from the ICU as compared to similar patients treated with the Bogota bag.
doi:10.1186/cc8193
PMCID: PMC2811940  PMID: 19961614
25.  Abdominal compartment syndrome – Intra-abdominal hypertension: Defining, diagnosing, and managing 
Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) and intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) are increasingly recognized as potential complications in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. ACS and IAH affect all body systems, most notably the cardiac, respiratory, renal, and neurologic systems. ACS/IAH affects blood flow to various organs and plays a significant role in the prognosis of the patients. Recognition of ACS/IAH, its risk factors and clinical signs can reduce the morbidity and mortality associated. Moreover, knowledge of the pathophysiology may help rationalize the therapeutic approach. We start this article with a brief historic review on ACS/IAH. Then, we present the definitions concerning parameters necessary in understanding ACS/IAH. Finally, pathophysiology aspects of both phenomena are presented, prior to exploring the various facets of ACS/IAH management.
doi:10.4103/0974-2700.82224
PMCID: PMC3132369  PMID: 21769216
Abdominal compartment syndrome; intra-abdominal hypertension; intra-abdominal pressure

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