World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1123–1127 | Cite as

Intra-Abdominal Pressure and Abdominal Compartment Syndrome in Acute General Surgery




Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is a harbinger of intra-abdominal mischief, and its measurement is cheap, simple to perform, and reproducible. Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH), especially grades 3 and 4 (IAP > 18 mmHg), occurs in over a third of patients and is associated with an increase in intra-abdominal sepsis, bleeding, renal failure, and death.

Patients and methods

Increased IAP reading may provide an objective bedside stimulus for surgeons to expedite diagnostic and therapeutic work-up of critically ill patients. One of the greatest challenges surgeons and intensivists face worldwide is lack of recognition of the known association between IAH, ACS, and intra-abdominal sepsis. This lack of awareness of IAH and its progression to ACS may delay timely intervention and contribute to excessive patient resuscitation.


All patients entering the intensive care unit (ICU) after emergency general surgery or massive fluid resuscitation should have an IAP measurement performed every 6 h. Each ICU should have guidelines relating to techniques of IAP measurement and an algorithm for management of IAH.


Abdominal Compartment Syndrome Gastric Tonometry Tertiary Peritonitis Abdominal Decompression Abdominal Perfusion Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryLetterkenny General Hospital and Galway University HospitalsLetterkennyIreland

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