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Am Surg. 2011 Jul;77 Suppl 1:S23-30.

Cardiopulmonary monitoring in intra-abdominal hypertension.

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Intensive Care Unit, Ziekenhuis Netwek Antwerpen, Campus Stuivenberg/St-Erasmus, Lange Beeldekensstraat 267, Antwerp 6, Belgium.


Cardiopulmonary dysfunction and failure are commonly encountered in the patient with intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) or abdominal compartment syndrome. Accurate assessment and optimization of preload, contractility, and afterload in conjunction with appropriate goal-directed resuscitation and assessment of fluid responsiveness are essential to restore end-organ perfusion. In patients with IAH, the traditional "barometric" preload indicators such as pulmonary artery occlusion pressure and central venous pressure are erroneously increased. Volumetric monitoring techniques have been proven to be superior in directing the appropriate resuscitation together with targeted abdominal perfusion pressure. If such limitations are not recognized, misinterpretation of the patient's cardiac status is likely, resulting in inappropriate and potentially detrimental therapy. IAH also markedly affects the mechanical properties of the chest wall and consequently also the respiratory function. Altered mechanical properties of the chest wall may limit ventilation, influence the work of breathing, affect the interaction between the respiratory muscles, hasten the development of respiratory failure, and interfere with gas exchange. Pulmonary monitoring is important to understand the relationships between intra-abdominal pressure and chest wall mechanics and the impact of IAH on ventilator-induced lung injury, lung distention, recruitment, and lung edema.

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