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Abdominal Compartment Syndrome: Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Current Therapy

DOI: 10.1155/2012/908169

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Abdominal compartment syndrome’s manifestations are difficult to definitively detect on physical examination alone. Therefore, objective criteria have been articulated that aid the bedside clinician in detecting intra-abdominal hypertension as well as the abdominal compartment syndrome to initiate prompt and potentially life-saving intervention. At-risk patient populations should be routinely monitored and tiered interventions should be undertaken as a team approach to management. 1. Introduction The concepts of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are pervasive, but the objective criteria by which to diagnose each of these entities are often misunderstood [1]. IAH and ACS occur in both medical and surgical Intensive Care Units (ICU), the general ward, and may even occur the Emergency Department. Successful outcomes rely on early and accurate diagnosis combined with timely therapy [2–4]. Herein we describe these conditions, identify the at-risk patient populations, review diagnostic techniques as well as tiered medical management strategies, acute surgical therapy and long-term interventions to improve patient safety, optimize survival, and decrease morbidity. 2. Epidemiology Changes in fluid resuscitation paradigms, such as Early Goal Directed Therapy (EGDT) in the medical realm, and “damage control resuscitation” in the trauma realm, have increased patient survival [5, 6]. As a result of vigorous fluid resuscitation, however, each has also been associated with an unanticipated and undesired consequence—intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). Given the detrimental effects of ACS (organ failure and death), heightened awareness surrounding the recognition of IAH and its progression to ACS, as well as the reporting of ACS, is paramount for optimal patient care. IAH is estimated to occur in 32.1% of ICU patients, and ACS has been reported in up to 4.2% of patients requiring critical care [7]. In order to identify each of these, one must be familiar with their definitions. 3. Definitions According to the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS), ACS may be defined as sustained intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) of >20?mm?Hg with the presence of an attributable organ failure [8]. While the WSACS has defined the parameters of ACS, it is important to delineate ACS from its predecessor, intra-abdominal hypertension. Absent from any disease processes, the average intra-abdominal pressure ranges from 5 to 7?mm?Hg with a normal upper limit of 12?mm?Hg [8]. Thus, a sustained IAP

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