• How to deal with an open abdomen?

      De Waele, Jan J; Kaplan, Mark; Sugrue, Michael; Sibaja, Pablo; Björck, Martin (Anaesthesiology intensive therapy, 2015)
      Appropriate open abdomen treatment is one of the key elements in the management of patients who require decompressive laparotomy or in whom the abdomen is left open prophylactically. Apart from fluid control and protection from external injury, fluid evacuation and facilitation of early closure are now the goals of open abdomen treatment. Abdominal negative pressure therapy has emerged as the most appropriate method to reach these goals. Especially when combined with strategies that allow progressive approximation of the fascial edges, high closure rates can be obtained. Intra-abdominal pressure measurement can be used to guide the surgical strategy and continued attention to intra-abdominal hypertension is necessary. This paper reviews recent advances as well as identifying the remaining challenges in patients requiring open abdomen treatment. The new classification system of the open abdomen is an important tool to use when comparing the efficacy of different strategies, as well as different systems of temporary abdominal closure.
    • A user's guide to intra-abdominal pressure measurement.

      Sugrue, Michael; De Waele, Jan J; De Keulenaer, Bart L; Roberts, Derek J; Malbrain, Manu L N G (Anaesthesiology intensive therapy, 2015)
      The intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurement is a key to diagnosing and managing critically ill medical and surgical patients. There are an increasing number of techniques that allow us to measure the IAP at the bedside. This paper reviews these techniques. IAP should be measured at end-expiration, with the patient in the supine position and ensuring that there is no abdominal muscle activity. The intravesicular IAP measurement is convenient and considered the gold standard. The level where the mid-axillary line crosses the iliac crest is the recommended zero reference for the transvesicular IAP measurement; moreover, marking this level on the patient increases reproducibility. Protocols for IAP measurement should be developed for each ICU based on the locally available tools and equipment. IAP measurement techniques are safe, reproducible and accurate and do not increase the risk of urinary tract infection. Continuous IAP measurement may offer benefits in specific situations in the future. In conclusion, the IAP measurement is a reliable and essential adjunct to the management of patients at risk of intra-abdominal hypertension.