Patients with impending abdominal compartment syndrome do not respond to early volume loading

Zsolt Balogh, Bruce A. McKinley, Christine S Cocanour, Rosemary A. Kozar, Charles S. Cox, Frederick A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: It is recommended that patients with impending abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) should be volume loaded to insure the adequate preload. We evaluated our prospective resuscitation database to determine how patients who developed ACS differ from non-ACS patients in response to early volume loading. Methods: Over 36 months, 152 consecutive high-risk patients were resuscitated by a standard intensive care unit (ICU) protocol that escalates interventions in nonresponders. Interventions, responses, and outcomes are prospectively collected and the characteristics of ACS and non-ACS patients were compared. Results: Twenty-three patients (15%) developed ACS and were decompressed 8 ± 1 hours after ICU admission. The ACS and non-ACS patients had similar demographics and injury severity. The severity of pre-ICU shock tended to be greater in the ACS patients. During the first 8 hours of ICU resuscitation, patients who developed ACS received more blood transfusions (11 ± 2 versus 2 ± 0.2 units; P<0.05) and crystalloids (13 ± 2 versus 4 ± 0.3 L; P<0.05). As a result, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure increased more in the ACS patients (20 ± 1.5 versus 15 ± 0.5 mm Hg; P<0.05), but comparatively the cardiac index did not (3.2 ± 0.2 versus 4.2 ± 0.1 L/min/m2; P<0.05) and the ACS patients developed pathologic elevations of gastric regional CO2 pressures (70 ± 7 versus 48 ± 1 mm Hg P<0.05). Conclusions: Conventional preload directed resuscitation to enhance cardiac function is not effective in patients with impending ACS, and this traditional resuscitation strategy is detrimental in this subgroup of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Intraabdominal hypertension
  • Traumatic shock resuscitation
  • Volume loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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