Incidence and prognosis of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome

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Robert Wise, Jimmy Jacobs, Sylvain Pilate, Ann Jacobs, Yannick Peeters, Stefanie Vandervelden, Niels Van Regenmortel, Inneke De laet, Karen Schoonheydt, Hilde Dits, Manu L.N.G. Malbrain


Burn patients are at high risk for secondary intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) due to capillary leak and large volume fluid resuscitation. Our objective was to examine the incidence the incidence of IAH and ACS and their relation to outcome in mechanically ventilated (MV) burn patients.

This observational study included all MV burn patients admitted between April 2007 and December 2009. Various physiological parameters, intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurements and severity scoring indices were recorded on admission and/or each day in ICU. Transpulmonary thermodilution parameters were also obtained in 23 patients. The mean and maximum IAP during admission was calculated. The primary endpoint was ICU (burn unit) mortality.

Fifty-six patients were included. The average Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS II) and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores were 43.4 ( ± 15.1) and 6.4 ( ± 3.4), respectively. The average total body surface area (TBSA) affected by burns was 24.9% ( ± 24.9), with 33 patients suffering inhalational injuries. Forty-four (78.6%) patients developed IAH and 16 (28.6%) suffered ACS. Patients with ACS had higher TBSAs burned (35.8 ± 30 vs. 20.6 ± 21.4%, P=0.04) and higher cumulative fluid balances after 48 hours (13.6 ± 16L vs. 7.6 ± 4.1L, P = 0.03). The TBSA burned correlated well with the mean IAP (R = 0.34, P = 0.01). Mortality was notably high (26.8%) and significantly higher in patients with IAH (34.1%, P = 0.014) and ACS (62.5%, P < 0.0001). Most patients received more fluids than calculated by the Parkland Consensus Formula while, interestingly, non-survivors received less. However, when patients with pure inhalation injury were excluded there were no differences. Non-surgical interventions (n = 24) were successful in removing body fluids and were related to a significant decrease in IAP, central venous pressure (CVP) and an improvement in oxygenation and urine output. Non-resolution of IAH was associated with a significantly worse outcome (P < 0.0001).

Based on our preliminary results we conclude that IAH and ACS have a relatively high incidence in MV burn patients compared to other groups of critically ill patients. The percentage of TBSA burned correlates with the mean IAP. The combination of high CLI, positive (daily and cumulative) fluid balance, high IAP, high EVLWI and low
APP suggest a poor outcome. Non-surgical interventions appear to improve end-organ function. Non-resolution of IAH is related to a worse outcome.

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