BACKGROUND: Secondary abdominal compartment syndrome is a lethal complication after resuscitation from burn shock. Hypertonic lactated saline (HLS) infusion reduces early fluid requirements in burn shock, but the effects of HLS on intraabdominal pressure have not been clarified. METHODS: Patients admitted to our burn unit between 2002 and 2004 with burns > or =40% of the total body surface area without severe inhalation injury were entered into a fluid resuscitation protocol using HLS (n = 14) or lactated Ringer's solution (n = 22). Urine output was monitored hourly with a goal of 0.5 to 1.0 mL/kg per hour. Hemodynamic parameters, blood gas analysis, intrabladder pressure as an indicator of intraabdominal pressure (IAP), and the peak inspiratory pressure were recorded. Pulmonary compliance and the abdominal perfusion pressure were also calculated. RESULTS: In the HLS group, the amount of intravenous fluid volume needed to maintain adequate urine output was less at 3.1 +/- 0.9 versus 5.2 +/- 1.2 mL/24 h per kg per percentage of total body surface area, and the peak IAP and peak inspiratory pressure at 24 hours after injury were significantly lower than those in the lactated Ringer's group. Two of 14 patients (14%) in the HLS group and 11 of 22 patients (50%) developed IAH within 20.8 +/- 7.2 hours after injury. CONCLUSION: In patients with severe burn injury, a large intravenous fluid volume decreases abdominal perfusion during the resuscitative period because of increased IAP. Our data suggest that HLS resuscitation could reduce the risk of secondary abdominal compartment syndrome with lower fluid load in burn shock patients.
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