Abdominal Compartment Syndrome in Surgical Patients

Alex Muturi1 Daniel Ojuka1 Peter Ndaguatha1, Andrew Kibet2

  1. The University Of Nairobi

  2. Kenyatta National Hospital

Correspondence to: Dr. Alex Muturi, P.O Box 14523-00800 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: almuturi@gmail.com


Background: The deleterious effects of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome, affect almost every system. Patients at risk are critically ill, in whom it leads to altered organ perfusion and end-organ dysfunction/failure. The five cases reported highlight the diagnostic and management challenges. Case Presentation: Five patients with variable degrees of multiple organ dysfunction/failure as evidenced by derangements in laboratory and clinical parameters are presented. Non-surgical interventions including insertion or repositioning of a nasogastric tube, insertion of flatus tube, careful titration of IV fluid requirements and appropriate adjustments of ventilator setting were instituted. All five did not respond to initial management and decompressive laparotomy or re-opening of the abdomen was planned.

Conclusion: Abdominal compartment syndrome can be prevented by regular measurement of intra-abdominal pressure in patients at risk. Non-surgical means should precede decompressive laparotomy but timely surgical intervention is crucial.

Keywords: case series, Intra-abdominal pressure, Intra-abdominal hypertension, Abdominal compartment syndrome.

Ann Afr Surg. 2017;14(1): 48-52.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/aas.v14i1.10

© 2017 Annals of African Surgery. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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