Measurement of compartment pressure of the rectus sheath during intra-abdominal hypertension in rats

Intensive Care Med. 2006 Oct;32(10):1644-8. doi: 10.1007/s00134-006-0366-4. Epub 2006 Aug 29.


Objective: To investigate whether the compartment pressure of the rectus sheath (CPRS) reflects the intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) under various conditions of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH).

Design and setting: Prospective experimental study with in vivo pressure measurements at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Surgery, University of Saarland.

Animals: Sprague-Dawley rats.

Interventions: Stepwise increase and decrease in IAP with continuous measurement of the correspondent CPRS.

Measurements and results: Physiological IAP (2 mmHg) and CPRS (6 mmHg) showed a statistically significant difference. Stepwise elevation in IAP was associated with a simultaneous increase in CPRS. Accordingly, stepwise decompression of IAP resulted in a stepwise decrease in CPRS. Under both conditions Bland-Altman analysis comparing IAP to correspondent CPRS showed a very good agreement for IAP at or above 12 mmHg. In addition, closure of the overlaying subcutaneous tissue and skin did not affect CPRS or its correlation with IAP.

Conclusions: CPRS accurately reflects IAP for IAP of 12 mmHg or higher. Thus CPRS measurements may represent a novel approach for diagnosis and monitoring of IAH.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Compartment Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Compartment Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Pressure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rectus Abdominis / physiopathology*