Purpose of review: Intraabdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS), the pathophysiologic implications of elevated intraabdominal pressure (IAP), have detrimental effects on all organ systems and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Within the past few years, the diagnosis and management of these syndromes have evolved tremendously.
Recent findings: Consensus definitions and recommendations for the diagnosis and management of IAH/ACS have been proposed. Risk factors for IAH/ACS have been clearly defined. The timing and techniques for IAP measurement have been further described. A comprehensive evidence-based medical and surgical approach to the treatment of IAH/ACS has been developed.
Summary: Liberal IAP measurement in the presence of known risk factors combined with implementation of an evolving and comprehensive resuscitation strategy have resulted in significant improvements in both short and long-term outcome for patients who develop IAH/ACS. All clinicians should be aware of the risk factors that predict development of IAH/ACS, the appropriate measurement of IAP, and the current resuscitation options for managing these highly morbid syndromes.