Prevalence and mortality of abdominal compartment syndrome in severely injured patients: A systematic review

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Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) in severely injured patients is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Many efforts have been made to improve outcome of patients with ACS. A treatment algorithm for ACS patients was introduced on January 1, 2005 by the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and mortality rate of ACS among severely injured patients before and after January 1, 2005 using a systematic literature review.


Databases of Embase, Medline (OvidSP), Web of Science, CINAHL, CENTRAL, PubMed publisher, and Google Scholar were searched for terms related to severely injured patients and ACS. Original studies reporting ACS in trauma patients were considered eligible. Data on study design, population, definitions, prevalence, and mortality rates were extracted. Pooled prevalence and mortality of ACS among severely injured patients were calculated for both time periods using inversed variance weighting assuming a random effects model. Tests for heterogeneity were applied.


A total of 80 publications were included. Prevalence of studies that finished enrolling patients before January 1, 2005 ranged from 0.5% to 36.4% and 0.0% to 28.0% in studies after that date. For severely injured patients admitted to the ICU, this range was 0.5% to 1.3% before 2005 and 0% in one publication in the second time period. For patients with visceral injuries, ACS prevalence ranged 1.0% to 20.0%; one study in the second time period reported 11.1%. The prevalence among severely injured patients who underwent trauma laparotomy ranged from 0.9% to 36.4% in the first time period. Two studies after January 1, 2005 reported ACS prevalence of 2.3% and 13.2%, respectively. The mortality rate in both time periods ranged between 0.0% and 100.0%.


The overall prevalence of ACS ranged from 0.0% to 36.4%. Future studies are needed to measure the effect of improved trauma care and effectiveness of the World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome Consensus Statements.


Systematic review/meta-analysis, level III.

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