Intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome in pediatrics. A review

J Crit Care. 2017 Oct:41:275-282. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jun 7.


Purpose: To consolidate pediatric intensivists' understanding of the pathophysiology, definition, incidence, monitoring, and management of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS); and to highlight the characteristics related to the pediatric population.

Methods: This is a narrative review article that utilized a systematic search of the medical literature published in the English language between January 1990 and august 2016. Studies were identified by conducting a comprehensive search of Pub Med databases. Search terms included "intra-abdominal hypertension and child", "intra-abdominal hypertension and pediatrics", "abdominal compartment syndrome and child", and "abdominal compartment syndrome and pediatrics".

Results: Intra-abdominal hypertension and ACS are associated with a number of pathophysiological disturbances and increased morbidity and mortality. These conditions have been well described in critically ill adults. In children, the IAH and the ACS have a reported incidence of 13% and 0.6 to 10% respectively; they carry similar prognostic impact but are still under-diagnosed and under-recognized by pediatric health care providers.

Conclusions: Intra-abdominal hypertension and ACS are conditions that are regularly encountered in critically ill children. They are associated with an increased morbidity and mortality. Early recognition, prevention and timely management of this critical condition are necessary to improve its outcome.

Keywords: Abdominal compartment syndrome; Children; Intensive care; Intra-abdominal hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Compartment Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Critical Illness*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Intra-Abdominal Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors