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J Trauma. 1998 Sep;45(3):597-609.

Abdominal compartment syndrome.

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Department of Surgery, Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0519, USA.


The ACS is a clinical entity that develops from progressive, acute increases in IAP and affects multiple organ systems in a graded fashion because of differential susceptibilities. The gut is the organ most sensitive to IAH, and it develops evidence of end-organ damage before the development of the classic renal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular signs. Intracranial derangements with ACS are now well described. Treatment involves expedient decompression of the abdomen, without which the syndrome of end-organ damage and reduced oxygen delivery may lead to the development of multiple organ failure and, ultimately, death. Multiple trauma, massive hemorrhage, or protracted operation with massive volume resuscitation are the situations in which the ACS is most frequently encountered. Knowledge of the ACS, however, is also essential for the management of critically ill pediatric patients (especially those with AWD) and in understanding the limitations of laparoscopy. The role of IAH in the pathogenesis of NEC, central obesity co-morbidities, and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia remains to be fully studied.

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