Abdominal compartment syndrome

Richard A. Watson, Thomas R. Howdieshell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background. The abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is a newly appreciated and potentially fatal consequence of increased intra-abdominal pressure. It can be due to either trauma or surgery, as well as numerous medical conditions. Prolonged, unrelieved elevation of intra-abdominal pressure can produce pulmonary compromise, renal impairment, cardiac failure, shock, and death. A high index of suspicion is imperative. Measurement of the intravesical pressure provides a urometric window for detecting and monitoring this condition. Conclusions. Reopening the abdominal incision (decompressive celiotomy) has proven a life-saving intervention. Use of delayed wound closure (staged celiotomy) may prevent development of this condition in high-risk surgical patients. It is urgent that all physicians, and surgeons in particular, be alerted to this potentially lethal complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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