Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is frequently encountered in critically ill surgical patients. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of IAH after orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) and its impact on organ function, hospital length-of-stay (LOS), and death.
This prospective, observational, cohort study evaluated consecutive adult patients admitted in the ICU after undergoing OLT. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was measured every 4-6 h for 3 days. Worsening IAP was defined as a gradual increase in IAP over a period of time. Daily fluid balance was the daily sum of all intakes minus the output.
IAH was observed in 48% of the patients within the first 3 days after ICU admission, while ACS was diagnosed in 15%. Patients with IAH had a higher positive fluid balance at day 1 (1764 mL [812-2733 mL] vs. 1301 mL [241-1904 mL], p = 0.025). Worsening IAH was associated with fewer days free of organ dysfunction. IAH within 72 h after ICU admission was independently associated with a composite outcome of death or a longer ICU LOS (odds ratio 2.9; CI 95% 1.02-8.25, p = 0.043).
After OLT, nearly half of the patients presented IAH, that was associated with unfavorable outcomes.