Abdominal Compartment Syndrome in Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review

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Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is a lethal complication of acute pancreatitis. We performed a systematic review to assess the treatment and outcome of these patients.

A systematic literature search for cohorts of patients with acute pancreatitis and ACS was performed. The main outcomes were number of patients with ACS, radiologic and surgical interventions, morbidity, mortality, and methodological quality.

After screening 169 articles, 7 studies were included. Three studies were prospective and 4 studies were retrospective. The overall methodological quality of the studies was moderate to low. The pooled data consisted of 271 patients, of whom 103 (38%) developed ACS. Percutaneous drainage of intraabdominal fluid was reported as first intervention in 11 (11%) patients. Additional decompressive laparotomy was performed in 8 patients. Decompressive laparotomy was performed in a total of 76 (74%) patients. The median decrease in intraabdominal pressure was 15 mm Hg (range, 33–18 mm Hg). Mortality in acute pancreatitis patients with ACS was 49% versus 11% without ACS. Morbidity ranged from 17% to 90%.

Abdominal compartment syndrome during acute pancreatitis is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Studies are relatively small and have methodological shortcomings. The optimal timing and method of invasive interventions, as well as their effect on clinical outcomes, should be further evaluated.

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