Abdominal compartment syndrome – a common adverse event after rAAA repair


Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) was common after ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair, with a similar incidence for both open surgical and endovascular repair (EVAR), according to a report published in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.

Samuel Ersryd, a doctoral student, and his colleagues at Uppsala (Sweden) University performed their study to determine the contemporary incidence, treatment, and outcomes of ACS after AAA repair.

The analysis included 6,634 patients in the Swedish vascular registry who were treated for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair at 31 institutions from May 2008 to December 2013. The mean patient age was 72.8 years, and 16.6% were women. There were 5,271 intact AAA (iAAA) repairs and 1,341 ruptured AAA (rAAA repairs). A total of 41.9% of iAAA repairs were open, as were 72.0% of the rAAA repairs ( Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2016;52:158-65 ).The study found an incidence of ACS in the rAAA group of 6.8% after open surgery and 6.9% after EVAR.

The morbidity and mortality rates for iAAA and rAAA with ACS were “devastating” in both groups, according to the authors.

Mortality at 90 days for patients with ACS after rAAA was 58.7%, twice that of patients without ACS. In patients with iAAA repair with ACS, the 90-day mortality was 19.2%, six times higher than for those without ACS.

Prophylactic open abdomen treatment was performed in 10.7% of open-surgery patients.

The researchers found no differences in mortality among patients in either group that developed ACS, whether they were treated with decompression laparotomy or not.

Age, sex, and perioperative comorbidities were not associated with ACS, Mr. Ersryd and his associates said. Within the rAAA group, however, ACS was associated with the lowest measured preoperative blood pressure and with preoperative unconsciousness. In addition, ACS was more common in both the iAAA and rAAA groups after perioperative bleeding greater than 5 L, in the iAAA group after reimplantation of a renal artery, and in the rAAA group after the use of balloon occlusion after EVAR. In those patients operated on for iAAA, the risk of developing ACS was 8.1% in patients who had perioperative bleeding greater than 5 L, compared with only 0.8% if bleeding was less than 5 L (P less than .001).

“With such poor results among patients who developed ACS, prevention is the obvious key to success. Massive transfusion protocols and permissive hypotension in patients with ongoing bleeding are important, as well as being restrictive with crystalloids,” the authors said. In addition, they recommended a proactive strategy treating intra-abdominal hypertension with medical therapy, effective pain relief, and neuromuscular blockade as important preventive measures.

“ACS is associated with a devastating effect on outcome after surgery for both ruptured and intact AAA. There was no difference in outcome among those who developed ACS, depending on whether the primary treatment had been performed with an open or endovascular technique,” the researchers concluded.

The authors reported they had no conflicts of interest and the study was funded by the Swedish Research Council and Uppsala University.


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