rapid reference

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treatment of abdominal compartment syndrome ✅

hemodynamics (more)
decompress the abdomen (more)
decompress the thorax (more)
sedation & paralysis (if intubated) (more)


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The causes of abdominal compartment syndrome are diverse, with many patients having several.  In many cases, the cause may be obvious based on the clinical scenario.  In other situations, CT scan may be helpful to clarify the cause of abdominal distension.

primary abdominal compartment syndrome (intra-abdominal processes)
secondary abdominal compartment syndrome (extra-abdominal causes)
exacerbating factors


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abdominal compartment syndrome is common

physiological relationships between various compartments

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pressure transduction between different compartments
“abdominal compartment syndrome” is a misnomer

physiology & manifestations

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general principles
brain:  increased intracranial pressure


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physical examination
abdominal pressure measurement using a Foley catheter
diagnostic criteria for abdominal compartment syndrome


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There are many treatments of abdominal compartment syndrome other than surgical decompression of the abdomen.  Thus, the inability to perform surgery should not lead to a sense of cynicism about the treatment of this disorder.


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defend the abdominal perfusion pressure

Abdominal Perfusion Pressure = MAP – (Abdominal Compartment Pressure)

Target MAP > (60 mm + Abdominal Compartment Pressure)

volume removal if possible

decompress the abdomen

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drainage of ascites
removal of gut contents
surgical decompression 

decompress the thorax

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measures to reduce intrathoracic pressure
beware of intubation

sedation & paralysis

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agitation (e.g. bucking the ventilator)


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questions & discussion

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Going further


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