Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS) is an increasingly recognized syndrome of intra-abdominal hypertension and generalized physiological dysfunction in critically ill patients. Patients suffering a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) are at risk of developing ACS. The objective of the study was to compare the current views on the importance, prevalence and management of ACS after rAAA among Australian vascular surgeons and intensivists. A questionnaire was mailed to 116 registered vascular fellows from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and 314 registered fellows of the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. Data were collected on the prevalence and importance of ACS after rAAA and whether prophylactic measures were or should be taken to prevent ACS. Hypothetical clinical scenarios representing a range of ACS after rAAA were also presented. The responses were compared using χ2-test and t-test. Sixty-seven per cent (78 of 116) of surgeons and 39% (122 of 314) of intensivists responded. Both groups estimated the prevalence of ACS after rAAA as between 10 and 30% and considered it an important entity. Only 30% of surgeons and 50% of intensivists suggested routine intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) monitoring. In patients with borderline IAP (18 mmHg), both groups believed that surgical intervention was unnecessary. Intensivists were more inclined to suggest surgical intervention for clinically deteriorating patients with an increased IAP (30 mmHg) compared with surgeons. Forty-three per cent of intensivists and 17% of surgeons suggested prophylactic (leaving the abdomen open) measures to prevent ACS in high-risk patients. Surgeons and intensivists have similar views on the prevalence and clinical importance of ACS after rAAA. Intensivists more frequently monitored IAP and suggested both early prophylactic and therapeutic intervention for ACS based on physiological and IAP findings.
- Abdominal compartment syndrome
- Intra-abdominal hypertension
- Intra-abdominal pressure
- Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm