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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-107

Intra-abdominal pressure as a criterion for abdominal re-exploration: a prospective study


Department of General Surgery, Benha University Hospitals, Benha, Egypt

Date of Submission21-Aug-2015
Date of Acceptance27-Jan-2016
Date of Web Publication1-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Moustafa
Department of General Surgery, Benha University Hospitals, Benha, 13518
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-208X.201282

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  Abstract 

This prospective study was designed to evaluate the role of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurement during the early postoperative period as a criterion of the need for re-exploration. The study comprised 90 patients; 60 (66.7%) males and 30 (33.3%) females, with mean age of 45.15 ± 11.9. All patients were assigned to undergo exploratory laparotomy for acute abdomen for various indications. Each patient underwent single preoperative and 8-h postoperative serial IAP measurements for a period of 72 h through two-ways indwelling Foley's catheter. Twelve patients underwent relaparatomy, 10 had a significant increase in IAP during first 48 h postoperatively followed by slow or even no decline during the next 24 h. This rise preceded the day of operative confirmation by 3 ± 1.5 days, whereas the other two patients showed slow decline over first 72 h postoperatively. Seventy-eight patients had uneventful course, 18 patients had mild increase in IAP levels during first day followed by decline over next 2 days, whereas 60 patients had a decline in IAP levels during the first 72 h postoperatively. The specificity of the method was 76.9%, sensitivity 83.3%, negative predictive value 96.8%, positive predictive value 35.7%, with overall accuracy of 77.8%. This study supports the role of IAP as a relevant marker for deciding the need for relaparotomy, as a part of the on-demand approach.

Keywords: intra-abdominal pressure, re-exploration, urinary bladder pressure


How to cite this article:
Moustafa M, Mokhtar M, Saleh G, Moustafa A. Intra-abdominal pressure as a criterion for abdominal re-exploration: a prospective study. Benha Med J 2016;33:103-7

How to cite this URL:
Moustafa M, Mokhtar M, Saleh G, Moustafa A. Intra-abdominal pressure as a criterion for abdominal re-exploration: a prospective study. Benha Med J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 5];33:103-7. Available from: http://www.bmfj.eg.net/text.asp?2016/33/2/103/201282


  Introduction Top


Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are two clinical entities constituting a continuum of pathophysiologic sequelae ranging from mild elevations of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) to the devastating effects of organ hypoperfusion and, uneventfully, to death. Although effects of increased IAP on various organs and systems have been reported over 150 years ago, pathophysiologic implications have been rediscovered and definitions and recommendations developed the last few years [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7].

Normal IAP is between 0 and 5 mmHg. IAH is defined as a 'sustained or repeated pathological elevation in IAP >12 mmHg', whereas ACS is defined as 'sustained IAP >20 mmHg (with or without an abdominal perfusion pressure <60 mmHg)' that is associated with new organ dysfunction/failure [1],[8].

Historically, IAP have been measured directly through a cannula inserted into the abdominal cavity or by an intraperitoneal catheter [9],[10]. Indirect methods to obtain the most reliable estimation of the IAP are intragastric, inferior vena cava, or intravesicular pressure measurements [11]. The latter is gold standard for intermittent IAP measurement as it is an effective, easy, and noninvasive technique that has been validated in both animal and human studies and shows a high degree of correlation with directly measured IAP without increased risks for either surgical wound infection or urinary tract infection [1],[12],[13],[14],[15].

The abdominal cavity may be considered to be a confined space after laparotomy and primary fascial closure. An increase in the volume of the intra-abdominal contents (bowel distension, bowel wall edema, or intra-abdominal fluid collection) will lead to an increase in the IAP which serves as a useful indirect measure for determining the intra-abdominal organ perfusion [16],[17].

This prospective study was designed to evaluate role of IAP measurement during the early postoperative period as a criterion of the need for re-exploration.


  Patients and Methods Top


This prospective study was conducted at Emergency Surgical Department, Benha University Hospitals over a period of 30 months, started January 2012. The study comprised 90 patients; 60 males and 30 females, aged 22–75 years. All patients were assigned to undergo exploratory laparotomy for acute abdomen for various indications. Standard surgical procedures were done and primary fascial closure of the abdominal wall was attempted in all patients. The abdominal cavity was routinely drained by a minimum of one passive-type capillary drain.

With Ethics Committee approval, all patients were informed and consented before surgery after explanation and discussion of the procedure. Patients who were contraindicated to measuring IAP using the bladder technique including pelvic fracture, hematuria or neurogenic bladder and those with organ failure at presentation (i.e. requiring mechanical ventilator support, inotropic drug support) and those who did not have primary abdominal fascial closure (i.e. requiring laparostoma) at the end of the laparotomy were excluded off the study.

All patients underwent serial indirect measurements of IAP through two-ways indwelling Foley's catheter using a technique described by Malbrain [18]. The catheter was inserted into the urinary bladder. After draining the urine, 50 ml sterile saline was injected into the bladder and the catheter subsequently clamped for 60 s to relax detrusor muscle and connected to the manometry system. The obtained pressures were recorded in cmH2O and converted to mmHg, using the following equation: IAP (cm H2O)/1.36 = IAP (mmHg). Each patient underwent single preoperative and 8-h postoperative serial IAP measurements for a period of 72 h [Figure 1].
Figure 1 The manometer used for measurement of intrabladder pressure.

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Postoperative care

All patients had daily clinical evaluations. Patients were considered uneventful if recovery occurred without signs of peritonitis, anastomotic leakage or ACS within 14 days after operation.

Relaparotomy was performed on-demand after clinical and radiological proof of peritonitis or anastomotic leakage. The presence of IAH did not influence any therapeutic decision and it was not used in isolation as an indication for relaparotomy. Abdominal decompression was considered if the patient had two consecutive values of IAP greater than 20 mmHg with organ failure (ACS).

Relaparotomy on demand is defined as re-exploration after initial laparotomy carried out only when clinical condition of the patient deteriorates. Postoperative peritonitis was diagnosed when the presence of intestinal contents, gases or pus was detected in the abdominal drains, on guided aspiration of fluid collection in the peritoneal cavity or from the wound site with signs of acute abdomen, anal bleeding, and temperature above 38°C.

After collection of IAP data, the patients who did not have sustained rise in IAP were taken as an internal control group. The validity of the test was estimated as regards the sensitivity (ability of the test to pick up those who are ill), specificity (ability of the test to pick up those who are healthy), accuracy (ability of the test to pick up both ill and healthy), prediction of positives (probability that a positive test has the disease in question), prediction of negatives (probability that a negative test does not have the disease in question), likelihood ratio of positives (score that allows categorization of the test for detection of ill subjects as excellent, good, fair, and poor), likelihood ratio of negatives (score that allows categorization of the test for detection of healthy subjects as excellent, good, fair, and poor).

Statistical analysis

The collected data were tabulated and analyzed using t-test and c 2-test. Statistical analysis was conducted using the SPSS (version 16) for Windows statistical package (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Values of P less than 0.05 were considered significant.


  Results Top


The study comprised 90 patients; 60 (66.7%) males and 30 (33.3%) females, with mean age of 45.15 ± 11.9, range 22–75 years. There was a nonsignificant (P > 0.05) difference between patients with uneventful course and who underwent relaparatomy as regards the age and sex presentation.

Of the 90 patients evaluated in the study group, 78 had an uneventful course and 12 underwent relaparotomy because of anastomotic leakage or failure of intestinal repair. The clinical diagnosis of the patients enrolled in this study was described in [Table 1].
Table 1 Patients diagnosis

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In patients with uneventful course, 18 patients had mild increase in IAP levels during first day followed by decline over next 2 days, whereas 60 patients had a decline in IAP levels during the first 72 h postoperatively.

Of the 12 patients who underwent relaparatomy, 10 had a significant increase in IAP during first 48 h postoperatively followed by slow or even no decline during the next 24 h. This rise preceded the day of operative confirmation by 3 ± 1.5 days, whereas the other two patients showed slow decline over first 72 h postoperative day. There was a significant (P < 0.001) increase in IAP in patients who underwent relaparatomy compared with that recorded in patients with uneventful course.

None of the patients underwent an immediate abdominal decompression because none of them met the criteria for diagnosis of ACS. Data of IAP measurement in patients enrolled in this study were shown in [Table 2].
Table 2 Mean ± SD intra-abdominal pressure (mmHg) of the studied patients

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With respect to the validity of the test, we found specificity of 76.9% (60 out of 78) and sensitivity of 83.3% (10 out of 12). Negative predictive value was 96.8% (60 out of 62), and positive predictive value was 35.7% (10 out of 28), while overall accuracy of the method was 77.8% (70 out of 90); the likelihood ratios of positives and negatives categorize this test as a fair [Table 3].
Table 3 Validity of the method

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  Discussion Top


Patients undergoing emergency surgery are at much greater risk of IAH development than patients undergoing elective procedures and those who are likely to develop secondary peritonitis are at highest risk [19]. Uncorrected IAH after laparotomy may lead to decreased perfusion at the site of an alimentary tract anastomosis and the abdominal wound leading to an anastomotic or wound failure. The resultant releak due to anastomotic failure may manifest much later as systemic sepsis. To date, there is no consensus on the timing of relaparotomy in these patients. However, if an elevated IAP is detected early during the postoperative period, relaparotomy could be performed before advanced postoperative peritonitis and systemic sepsis ensue [16],[17],[20],[21].

A sufficiently high level of IAP also can cause significant organ dysfunction, resulting in ACS. Development of ACS in patients undergoing laparotomy for trauma has been known to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Even the presence of low grade IAH can independently predict development of multiorgan dysfunction and death [22],[23],[24].

With respect to the ideal frequency of IAP monitoring, almost half of the respondents who measure IAP only perform measurements when they feel that it is indicated clinically. However, this method may miss patients with clinically significant elevation in IAP. This agreed with Sugrue et al. [25], who observed that clinical examination is a poor predictor of IAH. In the current study, each patient underwent single preoperative and 8-h postoperative serial IAP measurements for a period of 72 h. This coincided with Sugrue [26] who suggested that measuring IAP 4- to 8-h is the most appropriate time to take readings as IAP values tend to rise slowly in the absence of severe intra-abdominal hemorrhage.

In the present study, a significant increase in IAP was observed in patients who underwent relaparotomy during first 72 h postoperatively with a sensitivity of 83.3%, whereas 16.7% of the patients showed no increase in IAP. This could be attributed to different state of abdominal compliance curve as the dynamics of the abdominal wall allows great volume changes without a proportional rise in IAP values [19],[27]. On the contrary, patients with uneventful course showed decline during first 72 h postoperatively.

Despite no case in this study developed ACS, it is very important to consider monitoring and maintenance of IAP at low levels to prevent a possible rise in ACS incidence. This agreed with Neto et al. [27], who regarded ACS as a threatening condition with high risks and serious consequences. Moreover, Malbrain et al. [1] and Cheatham et al. [2] recommended routine measurement of IAP in postoperative ICU patients. This recommendation is due in part to increasing awareness of the ACS as more than one-third of patients undergoing acute abdominal general surgery will develop IAH, and one-third of those will develop ACS [19].

Comparative studies between on-demand and planned relaparotomy for postoperative peritonitis demonstrated no benefit from the latter approach. However, the rate of negative relaparotomies was still 31% when using the on-demand approach. Moreover, well-defined and validated criteria for the selection of patients for relaparotomy within an on-demand strategy do not exist [28],[29]. This should pay attention to the need for other markers for on-demand relaparotomy. In the current study, the likelihood ratios of positives and negatives categorize our technique as a fair test allowing early diagnosis of postoperative peritonitis as the rise of IAP preceded the diagnosis of postoperative peritonitis by 3 ± 1.5 days.

This study supports the role of IAP monitoring as a relevant marker for detecting postoperative complications in addition to clinical assessment in patients undergoing emergency surgery, and it should be considered as an additional tool to decide the need for relaparotomy, as a part of the 'on-demand' approach to these patients. A sustained elevation in IAP levels with no subsequent decrease precedes the occurrence of postoperative peritonitis after emergency surgery. Therefore this finding should provoke further diagnostic procedures. Initiating early examinations in response to persistently high IAP levels may help to detect postoperative peritonitis even before the problem becomes clinically apparent. This policy might further reduce the rate of negative relaparotomies. However, taking into account the small sample size of our study, further investigations are needed to confirm these preliminary data on a larger population.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Malbrain ML, Cheatham ML, Kirkpatrick A, Sugrue M, Parr M, De Waele J, et al. Results from the International Conference of Experts on Intra-abdominal Hypertension and Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. I. Definitions. Intensive Care Med 2006; 32:1722–1732.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Cheatham ML, Malbrain ML, Kirkpatrick A, Sugrue M, Parr M, De Waele J, et al. Results from the International Conference of Experts on Intra-abdominal Hypertension and Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. II. Recommendations. Intensive Care Med 2007; 33:951–962.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Ivatury RR, Cheatham ML, Malbrain M, Sugrue M Abdominal compartment syndrome. Texas: Landes Bioscience; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Malbrain ML, Vidts W, Ravyts M, De Laet I, De Waele J. Acute intestinal distress syndrome: the importance of intra-abdominal pressure. Minerva Anestesiol 2008; 74:657–673.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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7.
Cheatham ML, De Waele J, Kirkpatrick A, Sugrue M, Malbrain ML, Ivatury RR, et al. Criteria for a diagnosis of abdominal compartment syndrome. Can J Surg 2009; 52:315–316.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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De Backer D. Abdominal compartment syndrome. Crit Care 1999; 3:103–104.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
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11.
Malbrain ML. Different techniques to measure intra-abdominal pressure (IAP): time for a critical reappraisal. Intensive Care Med 2004; 30:357–371.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Iberti TJ, Lieber CE, Benjamin E. Determination of intra-abdominal pressure using a transurethral bladder catheter: clinical validation of the technique. Anesthesiology 1989; 70:47–50.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Fusco MA, Martin RS, Chang MC. Estimation of intra-abdominal pressure by bladder pressure measurement: validity and methodology. J Trauma 2001; 50:297–302.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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15.
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Diebel L, Saxe J, Dulchavsky S. Effect of intra-abdominal pressure on abdominal wall blood flow. Am Surg 1992; 58:573–575 discussion 575–576.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
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Malbrain ML. Different techniques to measure intra-abdominal pressure (IAP): time for a critical re-appraisal. Intensive Care Med 2004; 30:357–371.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Sugrue M Buhkari Y. Intra-abdominal pressure and abdominal compartment syndrome in acute general surgery. World J Surg 2009; 33:1123–1127.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
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Diebel LN, Dulchavsky SA, Wilson RF. Effect of increased intra-abdominal pressure on mesenteric arterial and intestinal mucosal blood flow. J Trauma 1992; 33:45–48 discussion 48–49.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
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Boermeester MA. Surgical approaches to peritonitis. Br J Surg 2007; 94:1317–1318.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
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Hong JJ, Cohn SM, Perez JM, Dolich MO, Brown M, McKenney MG. Prospective study of the incidence and outcome of intra-abdominal hypertension and the abdominal compartment syndrome. Br J Surg 2002; 89:591–596.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
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Malbrain ML. Abdominal pressure in the critically ill: measurement and clinical relevance. Intensive Care Med 1999; 25:1453–1458.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
25.
Sugrue M, Bauman A, Jones F, Bishop G, Flabouris A, Parr M, et al. Clinical examination is an inaccurate predictor of intraabdominal pressure. World J Surg 2002; 26:1428–1431.  Back to cited text no. 25
    
26.
Sugrue M. Intra-abdominal pressure: time for clinical practice guidelines?. Intensive Care Med 2002; 28:389–391.  Back to cited text no. 26
    
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Neto LG, Araujo LR, Rudy MR, Auersvald LA, Graf R. Intraabdominal pressure in abdominoplasty patients. Aesth Plast Surg 2006; 30:655–658.  Back to cited text no. 27
    
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29.
Rakić M, Popović D, Rakić M, Druzijanić N, Lojpur M, Hall BA, et al. Comparison of on-demand vs planned relaparotomy for treatment of severe intra-abdominal infections. Croat Med J 2005; 46:957–963.  Back to cited text no. 29
    


    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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