Anatomy and Physiology of the Abdominal Compartment

  • Manu L. N. G. MalbrainEmail author
  • Brecht De Tavernier
  • Pieter-Jan Van Gaal
Part of the Hot Topics in Acute Care Surgery and Trauma book series (HTACST)


Increasing attention has been paid to understanding the etiology, pathophysiology, prognosis, and treatment of increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) in surgical, trauma, and medical patients. Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is a graded phenomenon; however, abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is an all-or-none condition resulting in dysfunction of neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, and hepatic organ systems. This chapter provides a detailed overview of the historical background, definitions, classification, epidemiology, and pathophysiology related to IAH and ACS, including different IAP measurement techniques.



Dr. MLNG Malbrain is the founding president of WSACS and current treasurer; he is a member of the medical advisory board of Pulsion Medical Systems (Maquet Getinge group), a monitoring company, and consults for KCI, ConvaTec, and Holtech Medical. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the International Fluid Academy, an online educational platform adhering to the FOAM principles (Free Open Access Medical Education,, and part of the not-for-profit organization iMERiT (International Medical Education and Research Initiative). The other authors have no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manu L. N. G. Malbrain
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Brecht De Tavernier
    • 1
  • Pieter-Jan Van Gaal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Intensive Care Unit and High Care Burn UnitZiekenhuis Netwerk Antwerpen, ZNA StuivenbergAntwerpen 6Belgium
  2. 2.University Hospital Brussels (UZB)JetteBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineProfessor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium

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