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Study of intra-abdominal hypertension in the medical intensive care unit


Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is associated with significant mortality in surgical and trauma patients. However, IAH can occur in medical patients as well. Thus, the main objective of this study was to assess whether the IAH during the first 24-hour period of admission was an independent predictor for 28-day mortality.


We conducted a prospective observational study. All patients admitted to the medical ICU were enrolled in this study and underwent intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurement via the bladder. The primary outcome was the association between IAH and 28-day mortality rate.


Seventy-seven eligible patients were enrolled to this study. The incidence of IAH was 44%. The mean age was 60.52 ± 18.34 years. In terms of 28-day mortality, there was no association between the presence of IAH and mortality outcome. However, regarding ICU mortality, nonsurvivors had significantly higher mean IAP within 24 hours of admission than survivors: 11.55 (8.0 to 20.3) vs 9.95 (3.0 to 27.0) (P = 0.041).


Neither the mean IAP nor the presence of IAH within the first 24 hours of admission was an independent predictor for 28-day mortality. Nonetheless, this study demonstrated the difference of IAP between survivors and nonsurvivors in terms of ICU mortality in the medical ICU.


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Correspondence to P Theerawit.

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Theerawit, P. Study of intra-abdominal hypertension in the medical intensive care unit. Crit Care 14, P535 (2010).

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  • Hypertension
  • Mortality Rate
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Observational Study
  • Primary Outcome