Management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome: A review

Leanne Hunt, Steve A. Frost, Ken Hillman, Phillip J. Newton, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk of developing of intra abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS).Aim: This review seeks to define IAH and ACS, identify the aetiology and presentation of IAH and ACS, identify IAP measurement techniques, identify current management and discuss the implications of IAH and ACS for nursing practice. A search of the electronic databases was supervised by a health librarian. The electronic data bases Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL); Medline, EMBASE, and the World Wide Web was undertaken from 1996- January 2011 using MeSH and key words which included but not limited to: abdominal compartment syndrome, intra -abdominal hypertension, intra-abdominal pressure in adult populations met the search criteria and were reviewed by three authors using a critical appraisal tool. Data derived from the retrieved material are discussed under the following themes: (1) etiology of intra-abdominal hypertension; (2) strategies for measuring intra-abdominal pressure (3) the manifestation of abdominal compartment syndrome; and (4) the importance of nursing assessment, observation and interventions. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) have the potential to alter organ perfusion and compromise organ function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalJournal of Trauma Management and Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 5 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Abdominal perfusion pressure
  • Intra-abdominal hypertension
  • Intra-abdominal pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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