Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are continuation of the same pathological and physiological processes that are largely unrecognized in critical patients. From an era of indistinct definitions and recommendations, this condition has been studied extensively and experts have come forward with clear definitions and recommendations for management. IAH is graded in four grades and ACS is IAH above 20 cm H2O with new organ dysfunction. IAH/ACS can present as acute, hyperacute, or chronic and aetiologically can be classified into primary, secondary and tertiary. It affects various body systems including respiratory, cardiovascular, central nervous, gastrointestinal, renal and hepatic systems adversely and results in deleterious consequences. Management of IAH/ACS is based on the evacuation of intra-luminal and extra-luminal contents, improving the abdominal wall compliance. There are various surgical techniques recommended for preventing the development of IAH/ACS and mitigating the negative consequences. New medical therapies such as octreotide, tissue plasminogen activator, melatonin and vitamin C are being investigated and non-pharmacological methods such as continuous negative abdominal pressure (CNAP) have been introduced recently but are still experimental and not recommended for routine use.
Part of the book: Intensive Care