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Analyzing intra-abdominal pressures and outcomes in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy

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Author(s): Khan Shehtaj | Verma Akshay | Ahmad Syed | Ahmad Reyaz

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 318;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Abdominal compartment syndrome | intra-abdominal hypertension | intra-abdominal pressure

ABSTRACT
Background : Studies have documented the impact of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) on virtually every organ. However, it still remains strangely underdiagnosed. The aims of the study were to assess, in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy, whether intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality, to evaluate the effects of IAH, and to identify hidden cases of abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). Materials and Methods : The study comprised 197 patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. IAP was measured preoperatively and then postoperatively at 0, 6, and 24 hours. Duration of hospital stay, occurrence of burst abdomen, and mortality were noted as outcomes. Results : At admission, incidence of IAH was 80%. No significant association was found between IAP and occurrence of burst abdomen (P > 0.1). IAP was found to be a significant predictor of mortality in patients undergoing laparotomy (P < 0.001). Elevated IAP was found to affect all the organ systems adversely. The incidence of post-op ACS was 3.05% in the general population and 13.16% in trauma patients. The mortality rate for this subgroup was 100%. Conclusions : IAP is a significant predictor of mortality in patients undergoing laparotomy. IAH has detrimental effects on various organ systems. A more frequent monitoring with prompt decompression may be helpful in decreasing the mortality rate. Further studies are required to establish a screening protocol in patients undergoing laparotomy to detect and manage cases of IAH and ACS.
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