Author(s): Beck R, Halberthal M, Zonis Z, Shoshani G, Hayari L,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the frequency, predisposing factors, clinical presentation, and outcome of abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) in critically ill pediatric patients. DESIGN: A prospective study over a 5-yr period. SETTING: Pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care, university hospital. PATIENTS: All patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit were screened for the presence of ACS and were treated with a uniform protocol. ACS was defined as abdominal distention with intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) > 15 mm Hg, accompanied by at least two of the following: oliguria or anuria; respiratory decompensation; hypotension or shock; metabolic acidosis. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 1762 patients admitted over 5 yrs, ten patients (0.6\%) had a total of 15 episodes of ACS. Of 406 trauma cases, three had ACS (0.7\%). Three of the ten patients had primary abdominal conditions (mesenteric vein thrombosis, intussusception, enterocolitis), three had abdominal surgery (trauma, Kasai operation, esophageal perforation and peritonitis), three had primary central nervous system involvement, and one had meningococcemia. At laparotomy, bowel ischemia or necrosis was found in four episodes of ACS (27\%). Mean IAP at diagnosis of ACS was 23.9 +/- 3.8 (range 17-31) mm Hg. Physiologic parameters were compared during 4 hrs before the development of ACS, during ACS, and after abdominal decompression. Mean arterial pressure, Pao(2), Pao(2)/Fio(2) ratio, and urinary output decreased significantly, whereas Paco(2), peak inspiratory pressures, positive end-expiratory pressures, and base deficit increased significantly after the development of ACS. After decompressive laparotomy, the condition of the patients improved promptly and these variables returned to pre-ACS values. Overall mortality rate in this group was 60\%. CONCLUSIONS: Although relatively infrequent compared with adults, ACS occurs in critically ill children. Timely decompression of the abdomen results in uniform improvement, but overall mortality is still high. In contrast with adults, children with ACS have diverse primary diagnoses, with a significant number of primary extra-abdominal-mainly central nervous system-conditions. Ischemia and reperfusion injury appear to be the major mechanisms for development of ACS in children. Clinical presentation is similar to adults, but children may develop ACS at a lower IAP (as low as 16 mm Hg).
This article was published in Pediatr Crit Care Med
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics