The effects of increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) on intestinal blood flow were studied in eight anesthetized pigs. Mesenteric artery blood flow (MABF), intestinal mucosal blood flow (IMBP), tonometric intramucosal pH (pH|), mean BP (MAP), cardiac output (CO), and pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) were measured as IAP was raised to 10, 20, 30, and 40 mm Hg by infusing lactated Ringer's solution (LR) into the peritoneal cavity. The MAP was kept constant with IV LR. Cardiac output fell slightly from 5.4 ± 1.1 at baseline to 4.0 ± 1.2 L/min at an IAP of 40 mm Hg (p < 0.05). An IAP of 20 mm Hg caused significant decreases in MABF (73% ± 22% of baseline) (p < 0.05) and IMBF (61% + 12% of baseline) (p < 0.05). These changes became progressively greater as the IAP was increased to 40 mm Hg. The pH> fell to 6.98 ± 0.14 at 40 mm Hg IAP (p < 0.01), indicating severe mucosal ischemia. Thus increased IAP can cause severe intestinal ischemia, which may be more important than the cardiac, pulmonary, and renal changes usually described.
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