Intra-abdominal Hypertension

​Clinical studies demonstrate that intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH, defined as an IAP>12 mmHg) is common in intensive care patients:

  • IAH occurs in more than 50% of all surgical and medical ICU patients (ref. 1)
  • IAH is associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality (ref. 2)
  • IAH adversely affects all organs (ref. 3)
  • IAH causes a covert elevation of CVP, PAOP, and ICP (ref. 4)

Ref. 1:
Manu LNG Malbrain et al: Prevalence of intra-abdominal hypertension in critically ill patients: A multicentre epidemiological study. ICM 2004, 30 pg. 822-9.

Ref. 2:
Manu LNG Malbrain et al: Incidence and prognosis of Intraabdominal hypertension in a mixed population of critically ill patients: A multicentre epidemiological study. CCM 2005 Vol. 33, No. 2.

Ref. 3:
Manu LNG Malbrain: Is it wise not to think about intraabdominal hypertension in the ICU? Curr Opin Crit Care 2004; 10:132-145.

Ref. 4:
Cheatham ML et al: Preload assessment in patients with an open abdomen. J Trauma 1999; 46: 16-22.

The World Society On Abdominal Compartment Syndrome ( has recognized the clinical importance of IAP monitoring, and the organisation has also suggested a number of treatment options aimed at normalizing IAP. Please visit their web site, or have a look at our Teaching Material

​Key words: intra-abdominal pressure monitoring; IAP monitoring; intraabdominal hypertension; IAH; abdominal compartment syndrome; ACS; FoleyManometer; bladder pressure monitoring; intraabdominal pressure monitoring

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