Compartment syndrome is defined as an elevation of the interstitial pressure in a closed osseo-fascial compartment that results in microvascular compromise. It could happen in any compartment of the body, and recognizing it can be lifesaving.
The main risk factors for abdominal compartment syndrome are diminished abdominal wall compliance, increased intra-abdominal contents, increased intraluminal contents, and capillary leak/fluid resuscitation. The diagnosis of abdominal compartment syndrome could be confirmed with bladder pressure measurement. Abdominal compartment syndrome could benefit from conservative treatment (decreasing intraluminal gastrointestinal contents, evacuation of intra-abdominal space-occupying lesions, improving abdominal wall compliance, optimizing fluid management and perfusion) or surgical treatment (laparostomy, subcutaneous linea alba fasciotomy, extraperitoneal posterior decompression).
The main risk factors for acute compartment syndrome of the extremities are trauma and limb fractures, old age, vascular injuries, and ischemia/reperfusion episodes. The diagnosis is made by clinical exam in most of the cases. Treatment is surgical decompression and should be undertaken in less than 8 h from the onset of the syndrome start.
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