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Is the evolving management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome improving survival?*

Cheatham, Michael L. MD, FCCM; Safcsak, Karen RN

Critical Care Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181b9e9b1
Continuing Medical Education Articles
Abstract

Objective: The diagnosis and management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome have changed significantly over the past decade with improved understanding of the pathophysiology and appropriate treatment of these disease processes. Serial intra-abdominal pressure measurements, nonoperative pressure-reducing interventions, and early abdominal decompression for refractory intra-abdominal hypertension or abdominal compartment syndrome are all key elements of this evolving strategy.

Design: Prospective, observational study.

Setting: Tertiary referral/level I trauma center.

Patients: Four hundred seventy-eight consecutive patients requiring an open abdomen for the management of intra-abdominal hypertension or abdominal compartment syndrome.

Interventions: Patients were managed by a defined group of surgical intensivists using established definitions and an evidence-based management algorithm. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify patient and management factors associated with improved survival.

Measurements and Main Results: Whereas patient demographics and severity of illness remained unchanged over the 6-yr study period, the use of a continually revised intra-abdominal hypertension/abdominal compartment syndrome management algorithm significantly increased patient survival to hospital discharge from 50% to 72% (p = .015). Clinically significant decreases in resource utilization and an increase in same-admission primary fascial closure from 59% to 81% were recognized. Development of abdominal compartment syndrome, prophylactic use of an open abdomen to prevent development of intra-abdominal hypertension/abdominal compartment syndrome, and use of a multi-modality surgical/medical management algorithm were identified as independent predictors of survival.

Conclusions: A comprehensive evidence-based management strategy that includes early use of an open abdomen in patients at risk significantly improves survival from intra-abdominal hypertension/abdominal compartment syndrome. This improvement is not achieved at the cost of increased resource utilization and is associated with an increased rate of primary fascial closure.

Author Information

Director (MLC), Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Units, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL; and Project Manager (KS), Surgical Critical Care Research, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: michael.cheatham@orlandohealth.com

© 2010 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins