Skip to main content


Table 2 Adverse effects of intra abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS)

From: Management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome: a review

Cerebral • An Increase in IAP forces the diaphragm up decreasing intra-thoracic space, increasing the intra-thoracic pressure.
• Jugular venous pressure elevates.
• Venous return decreases.
• Intra cerebral pressure will increase.
• Cerebral blood flow decreases.
Cardiac function • An increase in IAP causes increased pressure on the inferior vena cava, intra abdominal circulation and perfusion.
• Venous return is impaired and peripheral oedema occurs.
• Increase in central venous pressure.
• Increased pulmonary artery wedge pressures as the myocardium is placed under an increasing workload.
Respiratory function • An increased in IAP forces the diaphragm up decreasing intra-thoracic space and restricts respiration.
• Result in an increase in intra thoracic pressure particularly with mechanically ventilated patients.
• Left uncorrected will result in a decrease in lung compliance, functional residual capacity a VQ mismatch and hypoxia.
Renal function • Defined as oliguria and anuria despite aggressive fluid resuscitation.
• Increase in abdominal pressure decreases renal blood flow coupled with a reduction in cardiac output.
• The rennin angiotensin system is activated further adding to intra- abdominal pressure and cardiac workload.
Gastrointestinal function • Increased intra- abdominal pressure results in an increase in vascular resistance and decreased cardiac output.
• Results in a decrease in tissue perfusion.
• Ultimately tissue ischemia.
Peripheral perfusion • Increased intra- abdominal pressure is said to increase femoral venous pressure increase peripheral vascular resistance and reduce femoral artery blood flow by up to 60%.