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Incidence, Risk Factors, and Prognosis of Intra-Abdominal Hypertension in Critically Ill Children: A Prospective Epidemiological Study.

PURPOSE: To assess the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

METHODS: Prospective cohort study from January 2011 to January 2013. All children consecutively admitted to the PICU, staying more than 24 hours and requiring bladder catheterization, were included in the study. On admission, demographic data and risk factors for IAH were studied. The intra-abdominal pressure was measured every 6 hours through a bladder catheter until discharge, death, or removal of the catheter.

RESULTS: Of the 175 patients, 22 (12.6%) had IAH and 7 (4%) had abdominal compartment syndrome during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay. The independent risk factors associated with IAH were the presence of abdominal distension (odds ratio [OR] 7.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6-19.9; P < .0001) and a plateau pressure of more than 30 cm H2O (OR 6.42; 95% CI, 2.13-19.36; P = .01). The presence of IAH was associated with higher mortality (40.9% vs 15.6%; P = .01) and prolonged ICU stay (19.5 [3-97] vs 8 [1-104] days, OR 1.02; 95% CI, 1.00-1.04; P = .02). Thirty-three (18.8%) patients died in the ICU, and IAH was an independent risk factor for mortality (OR 6.98; 95% CI, 1.75-27.86; P = .006).

CONCLUSION: Intra-abdominal hypertension does occur in about 13% of the critically ill children, albeit less frequently than adult patients, probably related to a better compliance of the abdominal wall. The presence of abdominal distension and a plateau pressure of more than 30 cm H2O was found to be independent predictors of IAH. Children with IAH had higher mortality rate and more prolonged ICU stay.

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