Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 707–713 | Cite as

Intra-abdominal hypertensionand acute renal failurein critically ill patients

  • Lidia DalfinoEmail author
  • Livio Tullo
  • Ilaria Donadio
  • Vincenzo Malcangi
  • Nicola Brienza



To investigate the relationship between intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and acute renal failure (ARF) in critically ill patients.

Design and setting

Prospective, observational study in a general intensive care unit.


Patients consecutively admitted for > 24 h during a 6-month period.



Measurements and results

Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was measured through the urinary bladder pressure measurement method. The IAH was defined as a IAP ≥12 mmHg in at least two consecutive measurements performed at 24-h intervals. The ARF was defined as the failure class of the RIFLE classification. Of 123 patients, 37 (30.1%) developed IAH. Twenty-three patients developed ARF (with an overall incidence of 19%), 16 (43.2%) in IAH and 7 (8.1%) in non-IAH group (p < 0.05). Shock (p < 0.001), IAH (p = 0.002) and low abdominal perfusion pressure (APP; p = 0.046) resulted as the best predictive factors for ARF. The optimum cut-off point of IAP for ARF development was 12 mmHg, with a sensitivity of 91.3% and a specificity of 67%. The best cut-off values of APP and filtration gradient (FG) for ARF development were 52 and 38 mmHg, respectively. Age(p = 0.002), cumulative fluid balance (p = 0.002) and shock (p = 0.006) were independent predictive factors of IAH. Raw hospital mortality rate was significantly higher in patients with IAH; however, risk-adjusted and O/E ratio mortality rates were not different between groups.


In critically ill patients IAH is an independent predictive factor of ARF at IAP levels as low as 12 mmHg, although the contribution of impaired systemic haemodynamics should also be considered.


Intra-abdominal hypertension Intra-abdominal pressure Abdominal compartmentsyndrome Acute renal failure Critically ill patients 



The authors express their sincere gratitude to P. Trerotoli, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari, Italy, for his precious contribution to statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidia Dalfino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Livio Tullo
    • 2
  • Ilaria Donadio
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Malcangi
    • 1
  • Nicola Brienza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Anesthesia and Intensive Care UnitUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Surgical Sciences, Anesthesia and Intensive Care UnitUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly

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