Objective: Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) have been increasingly recognized in the critically ill over the past decade. In the absence of consensus definitions and treatment guidelines the diagnosis and management of IAH and ACS remains variable from institution to institution.
Design: An international consensus group of multidisciplinary critical care specialists convened at the second World Congress on Abdominal Compartment Syndrome to develop practice guidelines for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of IAH and ACS.
Methods: Prior to the conference the authors developed a blueprint for consensus definitions and treatment guidelines which were refined both during and after the conference. The present article is the second installment of the final report from the 2004 International ACS Consensus Definitions Conference and is endorsed by the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome.
Results: The prevalence and etiological factors for IAH and ACS are reviewed. Evidence-based medicine treatment guidelines are presented to facilitate the diagnosis and management of IAH and ACS. Recommendations to guide future studies are proposed.
Conclusions: These definitions, guidelines, and recommendations, based upon current best evidence and expert opinion are proposed to assist clinicians in the management of IAH and ACS as well as serve as a reference for future clinical and basic science research.